Stewart Kirkpatrick, a digital strategist, has explained why we get tricked by hackers and why our devices get hacked. Here’s what he has to say about hoaxes orchestrated by hackers:
“Hoaxes use weaknesses in human behavior to ensure they are replicated and distributed. In other words, hoaxes prey on the Human Operating System.”
No matter how advanced the technology is, the security of the devices depends on the proactiveness of its owner. To keep your IoT devices safe, it’s important to avoid falling prey to these hoaxes.
So, how do you keep your IoT devices safe? Here are some tips:
Automated security updates
All software must be updated regularly because hackers are likely to find loopholes in the software over time, especially if the device is popular. Smartphone manufacturers constantly work to close these loopholes and release software updates frequently to keep your device safe from pernicious attacks. When purchasing an IoT device, look for devices that offer an automated software updates to avoid security breaches.
Before you start using your new IoT device, change its default password to a strong and complex password that only you know. If the password remains unchanged or is too generic, it is easy for hackers to exploit your device as soon as it’s connected to the Internet. Once these basic security measures are taken, you can start using your IoT device.
Separate network for all IoT devices
Keep IoT devices on their own network and have separate networks for your personal use, for your IoT devices, and for your guests. With different passwords for each network, you will be able to easily configure multiple networks to alignment with your needs. A single network for your IoT devices allows one to protect their other assets from security threats created by these devices. This also gives the user the capability to encrypt a network of IoT devices that might not be protected. Using a single secure network will reduce the liability associated with an ever more technical environment of IoT devices.
Choose a trusted brand
When it comes to IoT devices, choose brands that can be trusted. Trustworthy brands are important because they tend to have stronger security measures, more consistent updates, and better customer support to help ensure security of your devices. Now, just imagine what could happen if you buy substandard IoT devices for your house like a security camera. Your house, secured by IoT cameras can become a hacker’s tool to see into your home life. Now imagine if these problems were scaled to your business.
Your business may not have cameras, but they do have other IoT devices where security is of the utmost importance. As an example, picture below grade IoT devices used for data collection caused by substandard devices. Just like in the housing scenario, your data asset can quickly turn into a hacker’s tool to get into your business. Choose a trusted brand to mitigate the aforementioned risk that results from substandard security on IoT devices.
Different passwords for different devices
Using a single password for multiple devices is not a good practice. If a cyber criminal manages to crack the password of one device, only that device will be compromised. But, if you have the same password for all your IoT devices, then all these devices will be compromised. Treat your IoT devices as you treat your email accounts. Protect each device with a different and unique password.
This list of security tips is not exhaustive, but it is a good place to start. Securing your devices against cyber attack is not rocket science, but it requires some work. Taking a few simple steps regularly such as changing your passwords, updating the software, using a combination of security practices and technologies. can go a long way in protecting your devices against unanticipated threats and attacks.
If you own or administer IoT devices, take a look at our blog to stay informed about new developments in the IoT landscape.