Have One Of These Devices? Your Data Has Been Compromised

Have One Of These Devices? Your Data Has Been Compromised

Have you upgraded things around your home and office lately? Chances are you’ve jumped on the IoT bandwagon.

The Internet of Things is impacting all kinds of devices in every aspect of our lives. Installed a doorbell cam? Or a smart lock? A digital personal assistant? A new refrigerator? Or maybe just upgraded your phone? Yep, connectivity is everywhere. And while it may be cool to be able to turn up the heat in your home or office a few minutes before you arrive, have you thought about the security nightmare?

According to a new report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, these devices can compromise security in three ways:

1. Instead of just being a threat to our data, IoT devices also become physical threats to our lives. IoT is starting to control everything from door locks to temperature controls, cardiac electric shock delivery and unmanned aerial vehicle operation. No longer is it just your data and identification at risk, it can quite literally be a threat to your life.

2. Different devices are produced in very different ways, meaning there isn’t a standard approach to security. Think the manufacturer of a refrigerator is concerned with security? So what are they doing to ensure their newest creation is secure enough for your home kitchen or office breakroom? As thousands of companies introduce new products, the focus is rarely on software and configuration standards for their IoT devices. That means it’s difficult at best to manage and control them for security purposes.

3. With different controls, they all require different levels of management. How often do you upgrade your technology? Install patches? Download new programs and upgrade technology? Now imagine doing that for everything in your home and office. If you're overwhelmed now, guess what it’ll be like in a few short years.

This isn’t something you have to worry about in the near future. It’s something you should start thinking about today. You already have things near you that can be compromising your security. Things like:

Printers

How many printers do you have in place? They make these handy little devices easy to set up anywhere using Bluetooth and other wireless connections. Using WiFi, people submit all kinds of sensitive data to them. Yet it’s a manual effort to update security settings and disable connectivity features, which people rarely do.

Smart Televisions

Increasingly, medical practices use smart televisions for all kinds of things, from keeping people entertained in patient rooms, to marketing products and services in the waiting areas. One report showed that as many as 90 percent of all smart televisions could be easily compromised, and be an easy entry into your system.

VoIP

Most business communication is now performed with VoIP; they sit on every desk in your office. Individual devices don’t have stringent security mechanisms built in, and most can be accessed with Bluetooth technology. That makes them vulnerable from the outside, putting your contact data at risk. It also opens the door to spoofing, where anyone can pretend to be someone from your office, and get people to release sensitive data.

Welcome to the new age - the age of IoT. We can’t live without our connected devices. But how secure they are is up to you.

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