As the days go by, our homes become more and more infested with tech-savvy devices which are connected to the internet. Every technology that we knew is getting connected to the Internet and adding a smart tag before it. Nonetheless, they provide seamless functionality and have rightly become a genuine form of a mainstay in our lives. But we must remember the fact as the number of Internet-connected devices increases the risk of security failure increases as well. With the rapid growth of the Internet-Of-Things, our rush to add convenience in our lives has brought about a crisis of the privacy as well as safety in our daily lives. The most foolish things we can do is leaving the IoT devices insecure and prone to digital hacks. In terms of digital analogy, it is quite similar to leaving our back doors unlocked.
The infiltration of IoT
A survey report in 2018 shows that more than 5.5 million new objects are gaining a connection to the Internet on a daily basis. This is, in fact, a hell lot of devices to be living with. The features they provide might be awesome and very useful but every small object associated to your life that is connected to the Internet is itself a network-connected computer and pose a considerable threat in the security of your lives.
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What kind of risks are we referring to?
As the number of companies deeply involved with IoT increases the availability and accessibility to these also increases. This poses a serious problem in our daily lives. With the tech giants engaging in a tough battle to gain supremacy in the IoT field the smaller companies have also created a lot of their own protocols. There hasn’t yet been a clear standard established for these IoT devices. No consensus seems to appear in sight as well. This huge diversity makes it very difficult for the developers to develop any security solution on the large scale.
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What security measures could we take in order to ensure our own security?
For your convenience, we have listed down a few crucial security measures which you must adopt in order to protect your IoT devices from security breaches. ‘
1. Password protect your devices
Yes, it is an obvious one but it is essentially your first line of defence. Making sure that you have protected your IoT devices with a secure password not only provides the basic protection but also provides assurance that your device cannot be used by an unauthorized user. It is remarkable that most users are ignorant enough to overlook this basic measure and hence leaving their devices vulnerable to breaches. The modern-day IoT devices require only a few numbers of setups and the plug and play feature even manages to skip them altogether. Setting up a two authentication Is highly recommended and one must change the default name and password for any gadget that has a direct line to your phone.
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2. Check for automatic updates
Firmware updates and software updates are essentially meant for ensuring and enhancing security protocols. In the case of IoT devices, you must ensure that the regular updates occur regularly. In case it doesn’t occur you should check for regular software updates from the manufacturer of the updates.
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3. Secure your networks
Now as you have ensured security for your individual IoT devices then the offenders will try to enter through the main point of entry which is the main network. Therefore, securing your network is of utmost importance. Now you can adopt many different methods to secure your networks against several potential threats but we have assimilated the most effective ones for you.
- Network security protocols- Basic protocols ensure network security to a large extent. Not using default usernames and passwords are a start. You could also make sure that your router makes use of a secure standard of Wi-Fi. For guest users, you can enable a separate guest network so that your smart tech is kept to the original connection.
- Firewall- We all have some time or the other have come across the term Firewall but very few of us understands its concept. It is technically an electronic barrier to prevent hackers from access to the selective information. The computer’s OS can have some firewall but that doesn’t ensure that your devices will also be protected.
- Using a VPN-A virtual private network has the ability to take all the info travelling on your network and encrypting it. This allows the smart devices to stay connected to the web yet the websites that have usual access to these online activities will find the data obscured. For ensuring complete protection one can install a VPN client software for the router. Installing the same for each individual IoT device is an improbable task.
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4. Remove all the old devices
IoT market is growing so exponentially that every now and then new devices are coming up and making the old ones obsolete in terms of technology. This also results in forgetting the number of devices connected to the Internet. But you must remember that old devices also have the security protocols, passwords and a large variety of threats for your network. Every old device in the IoT system is a potential threat to the whole network. Old access points must, therefore, be removed from the network in order to reduce the weak links to your system.