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Smart devices play a major role in our connected world and they require the same level of protection as any other device on your network. Unfortunately, there are often very dire consequences of failing to protect oneself against these very real cyber threats. This can include viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware. All can plague your business or home network by targeting smart devices.

We’re getting smarter

Bitdefender research shows there are roughly 12 smart devices or accessories in an average UK home. Predictions suggest this could rise to 20 or more by 2021. If that number seems high think about how many of these devices you have in your home or office right now:

  • Laptop.
  • Smartphones.
  • Tablets.
  • Smartwatches.
  • Smart entertainment devices.
  • Smart thermostats.
  • CCTV security and monitoring systems.

smart devices home network

Complete the picture by adding smart home appliances like coffee makers, televisions and toasters. Not to mention refrigerators, bathroom scales and even the kids toys. They can all rely on Wi-Fi. Which means they’re all at risk.

The dangers of hackers

Hackers are constantly on the prowl for new targets. They are constantly evolving their methods and have developed automated systems to find and attack vulnerable devices.

In 2016, the average time for infecting a smart device or IoT system was six minutes from the moment of exposure. A year later that had fallen to two minutes. So it’s a safe bet to assume a connected device will need to withstand its fair share of cyber-attacks.

So how can you defend your network and smart devices from attack? The first step to take is to take some easy to implement security precautions.

iot and smart devices security

Stronger credentials

When installing any smart device you should change the default login credentials. Replace them with a strong password. Make sure the password is different for each connected device.

Never use the same password no matter how tempting it is. This is especially true for your router. The router of course is the gateway to your business or home network. Don’t leave it vulnerable.

Disable unused features

When you’re setting up a device it’s highly recommended to disable any features you won’t be using. You should also close any ports for services which allow remote access. This could include FTP, SSH and especially telnet.

Doing this locks down the system and will protect it from run-of-the-mill intrusion attempts. If your device can’t support this make sure your router isn’t forwarding those service ports to the outside world.

smart devices in the office

Additional security layer

Since the router is the front door to your network it makes sense to add extra security to it. You need to be in control of what’s coming through that door.

Firewalls can inspect the traffic to your devices and block any threats aimed at them. It can also recognise the normal behaviour of the systems it guards and will take action when it sees anything suspicious.

Firmware update

The to do list for maintaining a good standard of security for your connected devices should include regular maintenance. You should always update your smart devices with the latest firmware version as soon as it becomes available. It’s highly recommended you keep the auto update feature turned on.

New devices check

It helps to be aware of when new devices join your network. If you’ve a record of what’s on the network it is easier to recognize a rogue device.

Smart devices will play an ever more important role in our home and business lives. Making sure security is in place to protect those devices reduces the risk of attacks. Good security provides peace of mind and allows you to enjoy the benefits of your ‘smart environment.’

For more information please speak to the Ebuyer Solutions Team 01430 433671 or email solutions@ebuyer.com

* Prices correct at time of posting.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sound advice for an area of home and business security often neglected. We seem to assume certain devices are not at risk, or are already protected however, as you have pointed out, all devices requiring a Wi-Fi connection are vulnerable.

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