IOT – What You Need To Know
The Internet Of Things, or IoT, consists of billions of everyday devices which have the ability to connect to the internet. The IoT is like a giant web of unified people and technology, which all interact and share their ingrained knowledge.
In doing so, this collective information can turn previously ‘dumb’ devices into highly technical automated systems which will allow the user to complete tasks remotely and with little or no effort.
Consider the efficiency of being able to control the temperature of your heating and cooling system without having to be in your house, locking your doors without having to move from your seat or having a fresh and piping hot cup of coffee made for you by your coffee machine before you have rolled out of bed in the morning!
As well as providing added comfort and convenience to your daily routine, these devices also gather information and trends to help facilitate your day-to-day living. So aside from just making your compulsory cup of coffee in the morning – the intelligence methods of the devices can also gather data about usage trends, consumption and coffee bean levels – adding that extra bit of convenience to your day.
IoT is already entrenched as part of our technological future and is touted as being able make our lives easier on a daily basis.
If you are thinking about utilising an IoT system then it is wise to consider some of the ramifications of implementing this type of technology within your already existing network.
Below features a brief run-down of ‘best practises’ that should be considered before executing the use of an IoT system:
We all know that security is paramount however, IoT devices have not been designed with data safety being of crucial importance. Therefore extra measures need to be taken in order to keep your data and system safe from unscrupulous invaders.
The major factor is ensuring that you have a firewall fully in place to protect your system from unsuspected network traffic. Unfortunately, with the surge of IoT devices moving into homes and businesses, 2017 saw a colossal 91% increase in DDoS attacks originating from open to unsecured IoT devices. In other words appliances such as cameras, doorbells, fridges, lighting systems and temperature controls we all exposed and at risk. Therefore it is crucial that you ensure your IoT device is securely lodged behind a firewall.
Divide And Conquer
Whilst this principle may be less likely to be executed within a home environment, you should try to create a separate WIFI network for your IoT system, which has no access to your existing WIFI network. This is a procedure which may be more possible within the realms of a business set-up. In doing so, it will mitigate the risks involved if your device becomes compromised or vulnerable to any cyber-attack. By separating your IoT WIFI from your generic business WIFI, any attack will not allow access to your prevailing confidential business data, thereby securing any classified or restricted documents.
Keep Your Updates Up-To-Date
It may sound a little obvious but updates do not only allow your system to function properly and with the best settings, but regular firmware updates need to be completed on any IoT devices as it will keep you ahead of the game in terms of being exposed to new vulnerabilities.
Ensuring that your devices and software are fully and continually up-to-date diminishes the risk of attacks being carried out through the use of your devices. Safeguard your system by signing up to the supplier’s mailing list so that you can keep an eye out for any updates, warnings, recommendations or vulnerabilities from the supplier.
Faulty Default Passwords
Having to devise complex passwords can be a nuisance but they are integral to the overall security of your system. A true complex password is effectively made up of 16 or more characters with uppercase and lowercase lettering, numbers and symbols.
Some devices come with default passwords such as:
But these are designed to be changed when installed. As these are standardised passwords for most devices then attackers will look to try these characteristic options first.
Also do not fall into the trap of trying to replace letters with similar looking numbers or symbols such as:
Again, this is not a secure example of a password and this can easily be decoded through the use of dictionary password cracking.
Being arbitrary is the safest way to approach a password – something that cannot be guessed or relate to you in any given way. A password such as ^wu%7pjQGMepRKYz has the potential to ensure total security.
If you need help creating a password then websites such as https://passwordsgenerator.net/ can take the hassle and the headache out of the password problem.
Cause A Traffic Jam
Most business grade firewalls can encrypt traffic for you and should be done for any data leaving your network. Unfortunately IoT devices are infamous for sending out all traffic in plain text meaning that anyone can intercept it and access your passwords and associated data. This can also include any intelligent data that your IoT may have collected, such as the level of your coffee beans or something more serious such as the password for your CCTV system or bank details.
These are some of the integral issues that need to be taken into account if you are serious about installing an IoT device within your network. If you have any questions, concerns or you require help installing this technology then please feel free to reach out to DWM Solutions and we will be happy to help.