Ways To Secure IoT Devices from Cyber Attacks

IoT devices are under siege as more cybercriminals try to breach them, so these cybersecurity tips are essential.
IoT devices and cyber attacks
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Andrey Suslov | stock vector ID: 1721913598

It’s safe to say that IoT devices have made our lives much easier and more convenient. This new technology has changed the way people conduct their work in the office, but also how they use gadgets at home. The fact that all smart devices in the office or at home can be connected makes life much easier. However, this also exposes those devices to cyber and hacker attacks. This is exactly why today we are going to talk about the simple ways you can protect IoT devices from cyber-attacks. Here’s what you have to do.

The Famous IoT Attacks You Should Know About

A lot of people have doubts about the IoT hacker attacks. In fact, they don’t believe in them. However, those attacks are not a conspiracy theory, they’ve actually happened and you have to know how to protect yourself from them. Here are a few examples of famous IoT hacker attacks you should know about.

  • The Mirai Crackdown on Dyn – happened in 2016 and hackers violated a reputable Domain Name Service provider’s computer network called Dyn. Back in the day, Dyn was the DNS provider for companies like Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, CNN, and The Guardian.
  • Thermo-access to a casino – this was an IoT hack attack committed by a group of hackers who found a security loophole in the form of a thermometer installed in the casino’s aquarium. Once they hacked into the casino’s network, the hackers were able to get the casino’s sensitive data.

The IoT attacks are real and here are a few ways you can protect your gadgets.

Make Sure to Change Default Router Settings

When you get a new router, the manufacturer sets the name of the router and the default password. This is meant to be a temporary solution until you find a new name and a password for your new gadget. However, a lot of people forget to change the default settings or choose to keep them. This is not recommended because hackers can easily crack those credentials.

If you want to improve the security of your office or home router, make sure to change the settings. Choose something that makes sense to you, but make sure that is not associated with you. This will make a hacker’s life miserable if he decides to crack the password and put the malware in your IoT devices.

The thing you need to know is this – the network and Wi-Fi are the first defense against hackers. This is simply because many IoT devices are connected to Wi-Fi. Therefore, to protect your IoT devices, it’s recommended that you change default privacy and security settings.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

If you are using IoT devices in the office or at home, there’s a strong possibility that a hacker might try to crack your protection and steal your sensitive and personal information. In order to prevent this, you should use two-factor authentication for all of your accounts where you keep your personal or financial information. This way, even if the hacker manages to crack your password, they won’t be able to get the information because they will need a secret code to log in. This code will be sent to you via SMS. Therefore, if the hacker doesn’t have your phone, they simply can’t log into your accounts. This is one of the simplest ways to protect your IoT gadgets.

Disconnect The IoT Devices When You’re Not Using Them

Most of today’s gadgets have the ability to connect to the internet. This means you can connect your TV and your refrigerator. However, not all of those devices need to be connected to the internet in order to work properly. Having a lot of gadgets connected to the network every single day will provide hackers with more opportunities and more time to crack your protection. This is exactly why you should disconnect the devices that you are not using.

Use Strong Wi-Fi Encryption

As we already said, the home or office router is the gateway between IoT devices you own and the internet. If the router is not secure, your IoT devices and your personal information are exposed to hacker attacks.

Earlier in the post, we stated that you should change the default username and password and set the ones you think are secure. However, this might not be enough to protect you from cyber-attacks. If you want to be better secured, you should also use the strongest encryption on your router. On most routers, this is the WPA2 option. In case your router doesn’t have this encryption, make sure to get the one that does.

Have A Different Password for Every IoT Device?

If a hacker manages to crack your router protection, they might be able to hack every single one of your IoT devices and steal your sensitive and personal information. However, if you want to make their job more complicated, you should definitely have a different password for every IoT device you are using. If you use strong passwords and two-factor authentication, the hacker won’t be able to hack into your accounts. In other words, the fact that they managed to crack your router protection won’t mean a thing. Still, you should try your best to protect your router and if you notice any kind of suspicious behavior, make sure to change the username and password on your router.

Conclusion

The IoT devices have changed our lives for the better and made things much more convenient for us. It doesn’t matter if you use IoT gadgets in the office or at home, you know how many benefits they offer. However, if you want to protect those devices from cyber-attacks, you have to do the things we mentioned today. Change the default settings on your router, use two-factor authentication, disconnect the IoT devices when you’re not using them, use strong Wi-Fi encryption, and have different passwords for your IoT devices. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about hackers.

Matt James
Matt James is a veteran marketer & tech geek that has helped many large brands increase their online footprint. He specializes in influencer outreach and business growth.