Internet of Things: our cyber security guide

Cyber crime is on the rise, with an increase in attacks targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

As more devices rely on internet connectivity, cyber threats are moving beyond the desktop computer to smart phones, cars and even toys.

The majority of these devices have little to no security. If these devices are improperly connected to a network, they can permit hackers to enter corporate and private networks. IoT devices also collect data, that can be hacked into making them mobile hotspots.

Potential IoT targets

Before purchasing any connected device it is important that you are aware of the potential threats and take steps to educate yourself, your household and company, as to whether a device collects personal data, how it stores it and if that information is shared with anyone before you purchase a device.

Countermeasures:

  • Ensure the firmware is updated when prompted
  • Select a strong and unique password at least 12 characters in length, which includes non-alphanumeric characters
  • Use the highest internal security setting available
  • Finally, turn off any unneeded data collection, storage services, and wireless connections, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use.

Mobile devices,insecure apps and WiFi

The risks associated with our reliance on mobile browsing and shopping comes from newer and less secure apps. Such apps collect more data and hold less privacy and user controls so are increasingly attractive to hackers who can collect and sell the information we impart. While in public, a mobile device can be hacked to become an internet hotspot or fall victim to a rogue base station.

Countermeasures:

  • Disable all wi-fi and Bluetooth services on your device when in public or in an area with unsecured Internet access
  • Turn off the ability for your phone to be used as a hotspot
  • Use the highest security settings possible

Download our Internet of Things cyber security guide.