As consumers move toward having more and more smart appliances, home internet security has new hurdles to overcome that were previously not a major concern. In fact, the FBI is now recommending that you use a second router in your house for these appliances, known as IoTs or using VLAN technology to secure your network. This is what you should know about it.
What are IoT Devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) are devices that use internet but are not in themselves computers or devices. These devices include things like thermostats, lighting systems, fitness trackers, and even doorbells. Since they use the internet, you can use your mobile devices to access them or control them remotely. Unfortunately, while they are convenient in many ways, they bring with them a whole new level of security breaches that must be addressed.
IoTs are becoming more and more popular and available, so it is a real concern for people everywhere. As more refrigerators and outlets have the smart capability, you will need to be on guard with your network as much as possible. There are a couple of methods that you can use to do this.
A Separate Network
In order to make your network as secure as you need it to be, you should have your devices on a separate network. This is the recommendation directly from the FBI, who has been explicit in saying that your appliances and computers should not be working on the same network.
To do this, you will need a second router. This is not the only way to get security, but it is the simplest. You do this by connecting the second router to the first router and making sure that they do not have the same IP address. In some cases, you might need to call your ISP and have them help you with this, especially if you are relying on an ISP modem or router already.
Another way that you can provide security for IoTs is to use virtual networks where you can. These look and act like different networks, but are still part of the original network. This is not as straightforward to achieve as having a second router, but it is effective if you can figure out how to do it. This is called Micro-Segmentation and is a type of firmware that comes with a lot of modern routers. Check and see if your router comes with this as an option.
Other Ways to Secure your Network
There are other steps that you should take to secure your network as well. These include:
- Changing your default passwords to be unique
- Confirm who has been authorized into the network and which devices are connected
- Make sure that your software is up-to-date
- Utilize your built-in security, like firewalls
Problems you might face
The idea is to get your network to be as safe as possible, but there are some issues that you might run into with this endeavour. Since you have more than once device and potentially more than one router in play, there is a real risk that firewalls will stop your IoTs from being able to connect to the network. This is a careful balance that you will need to pay close attention to in order for it all to work.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you will need to have your network locked down as much as possible to keep intruders out. This means going through every device that has a password and changing it to be completely unique. Even so, you will need to grant your IoTs access to your network in order for them to not be shut out with all of the malware or other threats that might have tried to get in. Follow the security protocols as best you can in order to keep your entire network safe.