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Network Security and The Internet of Things: The FBI Issues a Warning

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is here and will only continue to grow. In fact, Gartner predicts that 26 billion devices will be installed and communicating with each other by the year 2020. The ever-growing IoT ecosystem will continue to increase the risk of cyber crime and the need for robust network security practices.  

To highlight this risk and the need to maintain sound security practices, the FBI recently issued a public service announcement. In this PSA, the FBI states that the primary risks are the lack of sufficient security capabilities and difficulty of patching vulnerabilities in the devices themselves and the lack of security awareness by the users. The risks outlined in the PSA are:

  • Cyber criminals exploiting the Universal Plug and Play protocol to gain access potentially enabling the devices to harvest sensitive information or conduct attacks against homes and businesses, or engage in digital eavesdropping;
  • An exploitation of default passwords to send malicious and spam e-mails, or steal personally identifiable or credit card information;
  • Compromising the IoT device to cause physical harm;
  • Overloading the devices to render the device inoperable;
  • Interfering with business transactions.

This means people maintaining these devices must be aware of how to properly secure the devices on their networks. It’s also important to remember that the range of devices is diverse and include fitness trackers, thermostats, HVAC systems, medical devices, security systems, and many more.

 

The IoT offers many exciting innovations for businesses, but the security implications must be addressed. For more information about how we can help secure your network for the IoT, contact us today.

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