Internet of Insecure Things

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
30 January 2018
Category:
New Tech

AI is starting to take over.

Echo Dot was the top-selling product on Amazon over the Christmas period in 2017. And at CES earlier this month we saw the battle of AI giants, Google and Amazon, for who had the most voice controlled products at the show. But it seems like every other day an IoT vulnerability hits the press. Speakers, baby monitors, door bells…

So, instead of avoiding using that super cool connected fridge, follow these simple steps to make sure everything is secure and locked down. Yes, we know that it’s just common sense. But it’s a good place to start.

Firewall needed
Don’t even consider using an IoT device without a firewall. I mean, why would you? As we’ve seen in the press, a lot of IoT products haven’t been designed with security in mind…

Change to a complex password
Using the default password probably isn’t a good idea. Generate a crazy long one. Some devices are also found to have hidden ‘backdoor’ accounts which can be hacked into, so definitely make using a firewall a priority first.

Firmware
Keep up-to-date with security updates from the vendor. Don’t forget there’s actually software for that device. Always check back to see if there’s any new updates, too.

Check the settings
Go through the settings on your device and check that all the settings you need/want are enabled or disabled. Universal Plug and Play is something that can poke holes in your firewall without you knowing, so keep an eye on that one.

Avoid Peer-to-Peer (P2P) devices
P2P devices are really difficult to secure. Research has also shown that they are reachable even through a firewall. Great.
They’re configured to continuously find ways to connect to global networks, so people can access them remotely. Not a good move to get a P2P device from a security perspective.

Cost
It’s not always about money, but devices that are towards the lower price ranges have tended to have the most reported vulnerabilities. Definitely check that the support and updates from the vendor are sufficient before choosing your device.

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