Tech Talk: Securing your Internet Connected Devices

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Tech Talk: Securing your Internet Connected Devices

Rocco Maglio, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, CISSP, has over 20 years in the field of software engineering.

More and more, we are seeing the results of many devices connected to the Internet with little to no security. We now have security cameras, refrigerators, televisions, and other devices that all connect to the Internet.


Rocco Maglio, CISSP

The main concern of most buyers has been how difficult it is to set up these new devices. If you look at reviews of these products, many of the reviews cover the ease of set up.

Security of these devices is an afterthought. Many of these devices just work. You plug them into your network and press the sync button on your WIFI and device and it is connected. The problem is that to make it this easy default passwords are used. If you can figure out the make and model of the device you can find the default passwords. That makes it very easy to take over control of the device.

Many of these compromised devices (bots) are then combined together to form botnets. These botnets can be used to act like millions of users to overwhelm websites and knock them offline in what is called a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.

Your devices can also be used to spy on you. Recently released documents from the NSA show that they were using hacked smart TVs with cameras and microphones to spy on people. Criminals can use these devices to spy on you too. They can check if you are home before they break into your house or see where you hide your valuables.

To avoid this, pay attention to the security of these smart devices. You need to login to the administration of the device and read what it says there. You should change the administration password to something that is reasonably hard to guess, but something you can remember. You need to regularly login and check if there are any updates to your device.