[Newsjack] How You Can Keep the Invisible IoT Ninjas at Bay

Posted on Tue, May 10, 2016 @ 08:00 AM by Carlos Lahrssen

Invisible_IoT_Ninjas.jpgAttention: There may be invisible IoT ninjas in your fridge, your car… even your TV.

Well jeez, Carlos, that’s not unsettling at all, you may be thinking. But it’s important to shine a light on these ninjas, or hackers, that could be stealing your information as quickly as you’re opening and closing the front door of your house. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has sparked a revolution in connection and comfort. A witty article from TNW details how Peter Schmitt -- an MIT computer science graduate and serial tech entrepreneur -- tells us how IoT is “going to be a disaster.”

Without Security, IoT is Dangerous

It’s obvious that tech is advancing--from the incredible capacity of our smartphones to virtual reality, new tech’s ability to collect and connect “vast amounts of data from our daily lives to actionable ways of improving our lives” is wide and all-encompassing.

ALSO ON nexogy: Steps to Introducing New Technology to Your Customers

For those of us using smart devices such as smart homes and cars, emphasize all-encompassing.

And, much like there is a light and dark side of the Force, the information being harvested can be used for ill. Check out this excerpt where Schmitt goes into greater detail about the dangers of IoT:

WIRED hackers recently demonstrated that they could remotely kill a Jeep on the highway, and researchers hacked a Tesla Model S, enabling them to hot-wire the $100,000 car remotely.

The IoT is even keeping the NSA and FBI up late at night, because it offers unprecedented access to our most important infrastructure.

In short, when your life is internet-connected unless that connection is secure your life is also internet accessible.

Security Updates are Your Friend

While we all wish we had a ninja as a friend (who knows, some of you might), nobody wants the kind that lurk in our smart refrigerators without us knowing.

As the article indicates, smart devices need to be updated on a constant basis in order to stay secure. Think about if you had a computer with Windows XP--you’re not protected! This outdated OS can leave your information vulnerable; the same applies for your smartphone, your house locks, and your refrigerator.

Convenience Comes at a Cost

IoT brings an equal amount of convenience as it does risks to most, which is why many people continue to buy the devices. Updating to your devices should be as important as it was when you first bought them.

Otherwise, you might as well walk through a grocery store giving people flyers with your Social Security number on them. You’re practically inviting hackers in that way--you don’t want vampires in your house on top of ninjas, do you?

Hackers aren’t just restricted to one archetype; they come in all shapes and sizes, and skillsets and avenues where they know to try stealing your information. Don’t give them that chance just because it’s convenient that you can unlock your house with your phone.

How to Stay Secure

There are other ways than just updating your devices to stay secure and keep the ninjas away. The article lists some great ones we wanted you to take with you today:

  • Buy smart
  • Change your password
  • Find out your device’s vulnerabilities
  • Protect your home network

IoT is a great thing, but it can also descend into a battlefield of stolen information and identities if we aren’t careful. Consider solutions such as cloud computing as a way to have your system auto-update and notify you regarding who has access to what.

We hope this article has been helpful, and provided some IoT insight that you can pass on to others. To learn more, we invite you to check out some of our free resources!

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About the Author

Carlos Lahrssen
Carlos Lahrssen
Carlos Lahrssen is president and CEO of nexogy, as well as founder, president and CEO of LD Telecommunications, Inc., nexogy’s parent company. Lahrssen is an industry fan, follower and advocate — stay...read more