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IoT security — why it deserves your attention
The digital revolution is now entering a new phase. More and more devices are linking up with each other and forming a global network where truly everything is connected. This presents us with exciting possibilities, but also an ever-growing number of paths that criminals can take to access your sensitive data.
Yesterday, the idea of using a smoke alarm to steal one's credit card information seemed ridiculous. Today, it seems plausible. Tomorrow, it will be commonplace. Here are three reasons why you should pay attention to the security of the Internet of Things.
We're drowning in connected devices
Times change. It wasn't that long ago when the best way to protect yourself against identity theft was to store important documents in a safe. First, we started to store that information on computers, then connecting those computers with other computers. Nowadays, more and more devices are finding their way into our homes, and the total number of connected things is exploding.
In 2008, there were 500 million devices connected to the internet. By 2015, the smartphone revolution had increased this number to over 8 billion. Estimates vary, but by 2020, the number of internet-connected devices is expected to rise to between 30 and 50 billion. Many are going to be in the same home network as your computers and smartphones, devices on which you keep information interesting to cybercriminals. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that…
…IoT devices have sloppy security
IoT devices generally have terrible security. Devices aimed at the home market tend to be inexpensive, as they still compete with their traditional, unconnected counterparts for the consumers' money. Manufacturers don't invest in security simply because they can't afford to do so and still maintain low prices. As a result, there is an increasingly large supply of poorly protected devices out there.
This is further compounded by the fact that these devices end up in the hands of a wider and wider number of people, and most people wouldn't know how to protect them even if they could. Therefore, we have a larger pool of vulnerable devices owned by people who are less conscious of their digital security. It is therefore no surprise that…
…Cyberattacks involving IoT devices are now a thing
On December 20, 2016, security journalist Brian Krebs had his site shut down by a malware called Mirai, which took advantage of vulnerable IoT devices to launch a massive cyberattack, flooding the website with hundreds of times the traffic it could withstand. Within a few months, the same malware had been used to take down French webhost OVH, and even a large number of America's most popular websites by targeting the domain name service provider Dyn.
Vulnerable IoT devices can also harm the users themselves. A weak device can act as a back door to every device in your home network, even the ones you use to transmit private information such as social media logins and credit card information. If you don't have a way to protect your new connected devices, it's important to do some research on how secure they are.
Thankfully, the security industry is keeping up and developing along with the connected world. The great thing about the next generation of security solutions, such as F‑Secure SENSE, is that they protect both "traditional" connected devices like phones computers as well as other IoT devices which currently have no further protection available for them. Read more about F‑Secure SENSE and take action for the security of your connected things. You can protect yourself from threats while still enjoying the full benefits of a connected life.
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