It’s no secret that cyberattacks are increasing at an alarming rate. Everyone seems to know this, but not everyone is taking precautions.
While most exploits in the news involve large companies and celebrities, a malicious undercurrent has been growing. The bad guys are targeting interconnected devices, commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT consists of many household appliances, digitally enhanced to communicate with company networks to pass data, increase services, maintain devices, etc.
Smart Appliances as mundane as refrigerators, stoves, switches, and thermostats have been targeted and inducted into a secretive, digital army to steal personal information, mine cryptocurrencies, and join Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks unbeknownst to their owners.
The Work From Home (WFH) Revolution Fueled The Increase In Attacks
According to Kaspersky, there have been 1.5 billion attacks on IoT devices in the first six months of 2021 alone. No doubt, spurred on by the WFH environment during COVID.
As everyone rushed to work from their homes during the outbreak, poorly installed and secured home networks coupled with IoT devices already active in the house allowed hackers to penetrate weak defenses easily. Hackers could leap from home networks to corporate systems in some cases, using at-risk smart devices in homes. Scary!
Here is the one mantra you need to remember: if it is online, it can be hacked.
What To Do
- Work with your company’s IT department to harden your home network.
- If possible, do not use personal devices to access corporate resources.
- If you must use personal devices, make sure you have robust cybersecurity software running, preferably installed by your company’s IT.
- Don’t let other members of your household use any devices used for work.
- Always change default passwords on all smart devices and network equipment. This is the #1 mistake most people make.
- Always use strong passwords, Multifactor Authentication wherever possible, and encrypt all hard drives and mobile devices.
- While you’re working from home, turn off your digital home assistants such as Alexa, Echo, Siri, and Google Assistant. Remember, they’re always listening, and recordings live somewhere in cyberspace.
- Embrace Security Awareness Training if offered by your company. Employees are the first line of defense while at the same time being its weakest link in security.
Technology is great and has lifted our society to great heights. But, there is a dark side that cannot be ignored. The bad guys are watching, exploiting every flaw, and taking advantage. Therefore, we need to lift our Security Awareness through constant training. So, the next time your company enrolls you in cybersecurity training, don’t roll your eyes but embrace it as a way to keep you, your family, and your company safe.
XSolutions is an IT Services Provider serving New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT). We provide Managed IT Services | Managed IT Security | Backup & Disaster Recovery| Cloud Data Protection. Call (845) 362-9675 for a free consultation.