When it comes to cyber security, you’re on high alert for phishing emails and suspicious pop-ups. But, have you ever stopped to think about the inherent safety of your anti-virus software or wireless router made overseas?
The idea that intentionally, due to a country’s geopolitical agenda, or unintentionally, because of the product’s rush to market, your software and Internet of Things (IoT) devices could be insecure, is the newest cyber risk.
Whether it’s a baby monitor, iPad, computer, TV, cell phone, home security camera or network router, the average American home has 13 Internet-connected devices.
Safeguard what you’ve got
Just about any IoT device can be inherently unsecure, without your knowledge. But, don’t fear, there are a few things businesses and consumers alike can do to safeguard software and hardware.
- Install the latest software upgrades - continually. Whatever product you’re using, make sure you’re constantly patching the software to protect yourself from the latest vulnerabilities. Like the infamous Target breach, hackers are more likely to enter your network through the back door. In this case, that could mean accessing your network through your security camera’s IP address, for example. Make sure even your cell phone is upgraded with the latest operating software.
- Build IoT security measures into devices from the outset and at every stage of product development. If you’ve engineered your own software or you’re a gadget manufacturer, make sure IoT security measures are taken from day one – not retroactively built into a product. Then, at every stage of product development, make sure you consider security.
- Recognize vulnerabilities immediately. Even if you’re conscious of IoT security, new vulnerabilities pop up over time. Vulnerabilities are defined as flaws in system security procedures, design, implementation or internal controls, and they are often made public by security researchers. The KRACK attack is one major example and reason to stay on top of new IoT security. When you find them, remediate them immediately.
- The list of vulnerable devices is endless. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of Internet-connected devices will double to 50 billion by 2020. As the number of IoT devices grows, the cyber-attack surface will continue to expand.
Contact your HUB broker to learn how we can help your business manage its IoT security risk.