We have spent a couple weeks talking about the dreadful state of security with many IoT devices. Now we are going to provide you will some solutions.
Most of the weaknesses inherent in these devices come from the fact that they are set up to be “easy for anyone to install.” Which means that most of them will work straight from the box without a lot of painful configuration. Of course the painful configuration is what makes these things secure, so you need to do your part. Here are a few ideas you can use.
- Run your IoT devices on their own Wi-Fi network. If your wireless router has a Guest network feature, turn it one and hook your IoT devices, smartphone, and other non-essential networked items to it. This keeps your computers separate from the other non-computer devices in your home or business. Really love this one. Thanks, Naked Security!
- Change default passwords. Always create your own passwords, and if you need to write them down, I find that attaching an adhesive label to the device is a good way to keep track of these infrequently used passwords. Or you could use a password manager like LastPass, which will allow you to write them down in a secure encrypted database.
- Turn off Universal Plug and Play. This is the best way to keep other devices from automatically connecting to your network.
- Look for cloud-free devices. Not everything needs to be connected to “the cloud.” These chatty devices are more susceptible to exploit or surveillance.
- Do you really need to network it? Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should, and this is especially true of connecting devices to your network. If you are never planning to use the the electronic inventory and automated restocking program in your smart refrigerator, then leave it off the network.
About the Author:I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com