The more the merrier, right?

December 4, 2014

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Our society has been raised to believe that more is always better. That holds especially true when it comes to tech devices. Everyone wants more devices capable of doing more things and offering more control and of course everything needs to be more connected. But what if there aren’t appropriate security protocols to handle the amount of devices that are hitting the market on a daily basis?

In my last blog I discussed a new phenomenon called The Internet of Things (IoT), which is the notion that every device you own will connect to the Internet. With this fast transition many people haven’t considered the security side as they’ve been rushing to enable Wi-Fi on their smart toilets. Every device that is being connected to your network, or perhaps your company’s network, is creating a larger network footprint giving more opportunities for someone to find and exploit a vulnerability, which could give them access to personal information, compromise private networks or even be used as part of a botnet to launch DDoS attacks. So before you run to install that Ultimate Smart Tracking toilet seat, follow these tips to avoid your bathroom schedule and other personal information from leaking online:

  1. Keep security top of mind. Hackers want your information so take extra care before hooking up a new device to your network. Try to share only the bare minimum information the device needs to operate and remember that regular security practices like using unique passwords for different accounts, still apply.
  2. Do the updates. Keeping all of your devices up to date helps to ensure you get the newest security patches for your devices. There is currently no set time limit that companies must comply with when a security bulletin has been released. If you are interested to see how frequent your favorite vendors update/patch you can take a look at Security Patching Trends for Major Vendors
  3. Keep it isolated. By isolating your devices from each other you are making it harder for someone to gain access to all your devices, and more of your information, if one is to get compromised. There are many ways that you can organize your networks for optimal protection, for example splitting up your devices onto separate networks based on which devices need to communicate with each other (ex. Wireless sensors) from other devices (ex. Computers). Most modern routers support creating Guest or multiple wireless networks through Virtual Access Points (VAPS), which can help prevent devices on one network from seeing devices on another network.

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