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Threats Posed by IoT devices: Tips to Protect Yourself
Hackers can use a compromised device to hack into multiple enterprise systems and obtain sensitive data.
Fremont, CA: There has been a decade of rapid growth for IoT devices worldwide, and the number of IoT devices connected worldwide is slated to reach 75,44 billion by 2025. Improved connectivity makes homes more efficient and life easier.
They are, however, prone to security threats due to their mode of operation (data collection), and their limited resources make it hard to secure them. IoT devices can be used in DDoS attacks or to spy on you, and ensuring their security is becoming more and more important.
Listed below are major types of attacks hampering the functioning of IoT devices.
A botnet consists of many devices (zombies) under the control of a hacker (bot herder). The victims are typically IoT devices that still use default credentials or common passwords from the manufacturer. A hacker can use such devices to conduct nefarious activities such as phishing and scams, DDoS attacks, ad fraud, crypto-mining, etc., when they connect to them.
Identity and Data Theft
Several IoT devices, including smartwatches, smart meters, and smart home devices, can be hacked and used to collect information about individuals. In order to gain confidential information, such as credit and debit cards, more sophisticated attacks can then be conducted using the data obtained.
Besides this, these devices can also be used as an entry point into a network since they are connected to other devices and systems.
Hackers can use a compromised device to hack into multiple enterprise systems and obtain sensitive data, especially if you don't have one of the best antispyware programs installed.
The security of IoT devices is generally low or nonexistent due to resource constraints, so ransomware poses a huge threat. The hacker can then download their malware, which encrypts your device until you pay a ransom.
Hackers exploited remote thermostats to demonstrate this concern. A hacker can also control the temperature and lock it to a certain degree to demand a ransom.
Below listed are proven tips to stay secure from IoT threats
Passwords should be strong and unique
Most IoT attacks target people who use either the default manufacturer passwords or common passwords. In order to prevent your IoT devices from being used for such purposes, change your default credentials and use strong passwords.
Update the software
Firmware updates typically patch existing vulnerabilities and increase a device's security. Update your device's software regularly by visiting the manufacturer's website.
Make sure your network is secure
You can prevent hackers from gaining access to your network by securing it. The basic way to secure your network is to change your default username and password. Then, choose an SSID that does not reveal your identity and a password that is strong enough to prevent brute-force attacks.
You can then go further and encrypt your entire network using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This can be achieved using a VPN-capable router configured with a trusted VPN service. In this way, your network will be impenetrable to outsiders.