The Holidays are upon us, and the hottest topic of conversation is about a present that may be under your tree this year. The “it” gift could be part of what’s known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The term IoT describes the inter-networking of “connected and smart devices.” These smart devices are embedded with software and sensors along with network connectivity enabling them to collect and share lots and lots of data.
More devices than ever including your smart home applications, smart wearables or your connected car are designed with Wi-Fi capabilities and built-in sensors generating the IoT growth. As the demand for these devices increases, technology will try and keep pace allowing for profoundly endless opportunities and connections to take place.
However, as the possibilities to include IoT into your daily life grows there are an equal number risks that could emerge, with security being front and center.
In the design of applications and devices, security is not always a priority. Smart devices just like other mini-computers have operating systems and software which needs to be updated with patches for protection. Without the security updates, it can leave the door open for many kinds of malware to sneak in and infect the device. Additionally, consumers often fail to change the default passwords on smart devices or fail to use strong passwords leaving the consumer vulnerable.
The creative crew at the JoyofTech.com aptly created a comic titled “The Internet of ransomware things…” (pictured below) accentuating the risks of the IoT with the added complication of malware known as Ransomware (a discussion for another day).So, what can individuals do to make sure that their information remains secure? Educate, educate, educate ourselves about the technology in our lives and understand the possible impacts, both good and bad.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Stop. Think. Connect.