IoT – “Internet of Things” Basics for Small Business
OK. You’ve heard the term IoT or Internet of Things. First, what the heck is that? And second, why do you care?
This is yet another example of technology industries making things more complicated than they need to be. Basically, the Internet of Things is just a generic term for all the “stuff” that you use that’s connected to some network. Here are some examples you might have in your home or office:
– Your wireless-connected television
– LED light bulbs you control with your phone or Alexa
– Your “smart” thermostat
– Your wireless front doorbell/video monitor
– Your baby monitor
– The tracking chip you put in your luggage
– The digital camera that sends photos to your computer or the cloud
– The door lock you control with your phone
– Everything connected to Alexa, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Siri, etc.
– Remote controlled window shades, coffee makers, washing machines, vacuums, and more
So now the question is, what do you need to know about all that stuff? Luckily, you only need to know a few things. But you need to take those few things very seriously. Here’s the sad truth:
The Internet of Things is Insecure by Default
What does that mean? Well, the average household will soon have a dozen IoT devices. But in just a few years it will have hundreds. And across the country there are currently hundreds of billions of devices. Soon it will be hundreds of trillions.
Most of these devices ship with a default password that you are not required to change upon setup. And, not surprisingly, the username is often “admin” and the password is often the same. In other words, anyone can guess the passwords to millions of devices as a time.
There has rarely been a better opportunity for hackers to break into insecure networks!
Fortunately, it is EASY to secure your network. Having said that, you might want to get some help to do this right. Here’s a basic step which you can use to help you…
This seems obvious. But we’ve already seen major attacks. Hackers use these devices to create massive denial of service attacks. Less common are attempts to break into secured networks. But if these devices are using default settings, they could be used to monitor network traffic – including your username and password.
The easiest first step: Change Your Password. This is literally like not leaving your car keys in the ignition.
If you would like any more advice on this topic please do contact us.