Internet of Things vulnerabilities are already causing a security nightmare, and with the growing number of vulnerabilities in these devices we should all be planning on ways to mitigate these risks.
Connecting all things cyber into one large global machine is bringing incredible benefits and unlimited potential. But the more of these devices that connect to the net the greater the risks. The logical proof of growing vulnerabilities is easy. Every device created by humans has vulnerabilities in both the hardware and software. Counting vulnerabilities on the net today is an impossible challenge, but take that incomprehensibly large number and multiply it by 20 and you will have the number of vulnerabilities expected in the coming Internet of Things.
Among the vulnerabilities already proven to exist in IoT devices are the ability of botnets to compromise large numbers of devices and then use them for distributed denial of service attacks, like the Mirai botnet attacks against the Dyn Domain Name System (DNS) of 2016. This attack leveraged vulnerable home IoT devices like security cameras and baby monitors.
What can you do? The IoT is coming, and its benefits, so far, totally outweigh the vulnerabilities. We recommend proceeding with caution. Some recommended actions:
- Ensure you only buy devices from reputable, widely recognized brands. A widely recognized brand should understand they have a lot at stake if they sell faulty products and that in itself might reduce some risks (don’t put too much stake into this assertion, it is just a first step)
- Make sure you change the default password on every device you own.
- Investigate a home network defense device (consider Norton Core, CUJO, BitDefender).
- Think comprehensively about all your IT. See our comprehensive list of best practices at: Protecting Your Home from the Cyber Threat
- Exercise the power of your dollar. Don’t buy things unless you have done due diligence and believe you can mitigate the risks that come with their connectivity.
It is also critically important to keep tracking this dynamically changing topic. We can help. Learn more about the Problem with IoT Security and Cisco’s View of IoT Security and Internet Hackers Documentary. And learn more defensive actions at the Things Cyber Protect Yourself page and in our approach to the Modern Technology Landscape.
Follow us on Twitter for for updates on Internet of Things Vulnerabilities at @ThingsCyber.