More internet-connected devices are found in our homes than ever before, with this number growing exponentially over the past decade. On average, a home has 10.37 devices connected to the internet - approximately half being mobile or PC based and half IoT-based.
Internet of Things, otherwise known as IoT, is any device that can connect online. From streaming sticks and smart fridges to baby monitors and Alexa voice assistants - everything can be classified as an IoT item!
Another major shift has taken place over the past few years. The rise of hybrid and remote work, as well as pandemic-induced disruption to our traditional office paradigm, have all been major influences.
Many businesses now allow employees to work remotely. This has led to increased security concerns for all IoT devices that share a Wi-Fi network with business data and other items.
These alarming statistics demonstrate the serious security vulnerabilities associated with IoT.
- In the first six months of 2021, there was an uptick in IoT-related cyberattacks compared to last year, rising 135%.
- Over 25% of cyberattacks against businesses can be traced back to Internet of Things devices.
Hackers leverage IoT devices to gain access to computers and smartphones alike
Smart devices pose a danger to all other devices on a network. They are more vulnerable than their less secure counterparts and hackers may use them as gateways into more sensitive systems.
Your smart fridge may be irrelevant to a criminal, but they can access its IoT device and see which other devices are connected to it.
Hackers can then gain access to permissions and sharing that are common on home networks, giving them the keys to your mobile device or work computer - devices which contain sensitive data as well as personal information.
Here are a few reasons why.
- Most often, these devices lack anti-virus or anti-malware capabilities.
- Users often neglect to regularly upgrade IoT devices.
- They can hide a breach in device security with their basic interfaces.
- Many people don't know how to alter their default password and username on their devices.
- Hacking IoT devices that have shared settings makes it more accessible.
Secure your network by placing IoT devices on a separate Wi-Fi network.
Modern routers can create a "guest" Wi Fi network. This is an accessible network that other devices can connect to.
You can strengthen security by placing all of your IoT devices on a separate network. Doing so eliminates the potential for hackers to use an IoT device as a bridge to access another device on the same network - especially those containing sensitive information (computers or mobile devices).
If you have both IoT and sensitive-information devices on your network, hackers cannot see everything. They won't have access to your smartphone or PC if they hack one of your smart devices since they aren't on your network.
This is an essential layer of security you should employ. It can be employed for remote workers or home banking and budgeting needs. Access to online banking and personal information is usually accessible on all smartphones and PCs.
These are the steps you need to take in order to segregate your IoT devices. We can also take care of all these steps for you; just let us know what needs doing and we'll be more than happy to assist.
- Step 1 - Log into your router settings.
- Step 2 - Locate an area where you can create a guest network. You may need to consult an online help guide as each router has different setup instructions.
- Step 3 - Create a guest network using the instructions from your router. Use an unbreakable password for added protection.
- Step 4 : Modify the password of your existing network to prevent IoT devices from automatically reconnecting to it.
- Step 5 - Attach all IoT devices at your residence to the guest network.
- Step 6 Connect your sensitive devices (computers and smartphones) to the network and set a password.
When adding new devices to your home network, make sure they are connected to the correct one. Doing this helps ensure security is maintained on all fronts.
Another tip: Steer clear of descriptive names when naming Wi-Fi networks, such as "IoT network", your home address, or router model names.
It is best to not provide hackers with any valuable information that they could leverage for malicious attacks.
Are you in need of assistance with improving the security at home?
Hackers have begun targeting home networks due to the large number of remote workers. They know these networks can contain personal and sensitive business data, making them ideal targets for attacks. Don't leave yourself vulnerable - get a free home security assessment now.