The internet of things (IoT for short) consists of devices that can connect to each other and the internet to share data. We aren’t referring to the usual devices like laptops, phones, and tablets here. The IoT is made of up of all the smaller devices — devices that you may be surprised to find out are security vulnerabilities. Things like printers, manufacturing equipment, security cameras, and even your employees watch. To see an example of how the IoT can be used by criminals for nefarious purposes, we must look no further than the 2016 Dyn cyberattack.
The Dyn Cyberattack
In October of 2016, the internet was brought to its knees. Cyber attackers flooded Dyn, a company providing domain name registration services, with junk internet traffic. This took them down for some time, and since many major websites relied on Dyn a huge portion of the internet was rendered useless as well. Most of this junk traffic came from unassuming devices like printers, IP cameras, and even baby monitors. This is a more extreme scenario, but it’s just one of the many ways that cybercriminals can use the IoT to take down a business.
Take Control Of Your Devices With Smart IT Solutions
So many businesses already have critical vulnerabilities in their IT infrastructure and most are doing nothing at all about it. These problems aren’t going to go away, in fact, they’ll only get worse as more and more devices become internet enabled. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do right now to secure your devices. Here are a few suggestions:
- Change default passwords – Most IoT devices come enabled with default passwords and usernames that are far too easy to crack. Take a minute to go through all of your devices and make sure passwords and usernames are set to something unique and difficult to guess.
- Update your devices – Firmware updates often contain critical security fixes. Make sure all of your devices — especially those that connect to the internet — remain fully up to date.
- Replace old devices – As devices age, they stop receiving these all-too-important updates. This leaves them with outdated security protocols and makes them prime targets for experienced hackers. One a network-enabled device stops being supported, it’s time to consider replacing it.
- Find an expert partner – You don’t have to tackle your cybersecurity issues alone. In fact, it’s often better to partner with an experienced third party who can take an objective look at your current security protocols and suggest new, more effective solutions.
Remember, there’s no end to the way that cybercriminals will try to infiltrate your business. Smart IT solutions are the best defense you have. There’s no way to eliminate your cyber risk entirely, but bringing it down to an acceptable level could be the difference between your business weathering the storm or folding under the weight of these attacks.
Atlantic Communications Team has been providing businesses in Central Florida with affordable, flexible IT solutions since 1984. We offer a variety of IT services including basic PC support, networking, managed services, and cloud computing. Please, contact us today to learn more about our IT solutions.