Internet connected cars, thermostats, refrigerators and many more devices are becoming more common and are being sold for lower prices than ever before. This means that more devices are speaking to each other and collecting information. This web of interconnecting devices, simply known as the Internet of Things (IoT), can have many benefits for businesses along with making everyday tasks easier. With these innumerable benefits come security risks and vulnerabilities that everybody should know about before investing their money in rewarding, but potentially dangerous technologies.
It is imperative to know the risks before purchasing these Internet connected devices. When you have multiple devices speaking to each other and sending your information around that means you have many different points where somebody can hack into a system and compromise a device. For example, you could have the Nest Thermostat which can be set to turn the heat on or off in your home based on the location from your smart phone. This ultra convenient device can help lower your energy costs, but if someone were to hack into your thermostat, they could ascertain information about when you are normally home or away from home. Of course this is an extreme situation, but it is quite plausible.
Studies show that three out of four internet connected devices are susceptible to hacking and many of them are not fixable through simple software upgrades.
In most cases this hacking is for information; Think ad targeting and mailing lists, not identity theft. Although the effect on your life could be negligible you can prevent your information from being hacked by learning how to mitigate these risks.
Decreasing your Risk
Three out of four connected devices are at risk of hacking, but most of these security concerns can be fixed by simply creating a more secure password. There will never be a way to guarantee that your information will be 100% safe in the new age of connected devices, but getting close to 100% is possible through research.
The IoT is one area where cheaper is not necessarily better. Many of these cheap devices have relaxed or sometimes no security protection.
By making sure that your device is well equipped with security software and by running through a “security best-practices” checklist, you can make sure that your investment in some of the coolest new technologies is safe and worth it.