12 billion IoT devices are presently connected, and there is a reliable industry forecast that 30 billion devices would be connected 3 years from now.
IoT devices, otherwise known as smart devices are called smart because there is usually an inter-network which makes them connected.
The emphasis on these smart connected is because they are valuable to humans, always in demand and to crown it all, is its susceptibility to cyber-attacks.
Some of these devices include cars, lights, thermostats, refrigerators, and other home appliances that are connected to the IoT.
These devices are going to add to the ease of our life but if all these devices are easily hacked into, it means we could have a whole new host of security concerns,” says Sen. Mark Warner, Co-founder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus and member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The security risks of purchasing these smart devices are continually high due to the unquenchable thirst to use IoT devices; weak security apparatus adopted by manufacturers; as well as the sophisticated level at which hackers operate.
For instance, having smart television set in your home is enough for hackers to attack you. All of these devices are vulnerable and available for sales and you are likely to buy something insecure.
“I think we’re going to see real strength in the Internet of Things and it’s not just your thermostat. It’s going to be everything in your house, your refrigerator, your washing machine, your dishwasher,” Jan Kniffen, a consultant specializing in retail and CEO of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide, said on CNBC’s “On The Money” recently
However, the question is, does it mean consumers shouldn’t buy smart connected devices? These devices are useful to users despite its vulnerabilities.
This simply means that every individual should be involved in the fight, “from industry to individuals, to government are going to have to up our game regarding making sure these devices are safe from the genuine threat of cyber hackers,” Warner says.
If you must own a connected device, make sure you do the following, to curb the security risks.
Look for Devices with the Latest Software Version
Getting a connected device with the latest software version is imperative to averting potential cyber-attacks.
You must make it a thing of priority to inspect the software version and find out it’s up to date.
“If you do have one of these devices, make sure you’re running the latest version of the software because lots of manufacturers have issued fixes,” Lyne said.
Change the Default Password
If you must purchase any IoT device, changing the default password should be a priority. Any hacker could break into a smart connected device by guessing a password. This process allows the hacker to easily manipulate and take control of a connected device.
The security of IoT devices is important, and it’s not a must that you should own a smart connected device. If you must do, it’s better to start implementing the security as mentioned earlier measure.