The Internet of Things (IoT) is all the rage today, which is why everyone is jumping at the opportunity to grab the next Smart Home Device. The IoT refers to physical devices connected wirelessly to the internet to simplify our lives. While there are upsides to Smart Devices, it is also an undeniable fact that the IoT poses a severe threat to our lives, which is a fact most people seem unaware. This article looks to explore how the Internet of Things makes your household vulnerable.
Increased vulnerability to cyber threats
As it stands, there is a significant increase in the number and sophistication of cyber attacks. The ideal solution should be minimizing and securing your points of vulnerability.
The IoT makes this harder in two ways; First, it increases the number of access points through which you could be attacked virtually.
Since all Smart Home Devices are internet-enabled, they can easily be hacked. The rationale that most people have is that even if they are hacked, they don’t store any useful information, which is a false belief.
Aside from containing network information and other manipulatable data, an unsecured Smart Device could be used as an access point to introduce malware into a network and gain access to a laptop or other network storage device.
Secondly, since IoT devices are a relatively new introduction to the cyber world, there aren’t any specialized tools or methods to secure them. Therefore, buying unsecured Smart Home Devices opens you up to more cyber attacks.
Bridging the virtual and physical worlds
The whole point of the IoT is to bridge the virtual and physical worlds for greater convenience in the physical world. While the benefits of bridging the divide in the two worlds are undoubtedly undeniable, you should think twice before you jump at the idea.
Bridging the gap also means that virtual attacks could harm us in the physical world as shown by researchers hacking a Jeep remotely.
To bring it closer home, imagine a hacker overloading your Smart Fridge remotely while you slept. It could go a step further with the hacker shutting off your smoke detection and fire suppression systems, then locking all your doors. That is the kind of threat posed by the IoT bridging the virtual and physical worlds.
Lack of dedicated security
As mentioned, the IoT still lacks dedicated protection since it is a fairly recent addition to the cyber world. Judging by the trends, there is numerous support for the IoT. That makes it a very profitable investment for tech companies.
Unfortunately for the consumer, that means that most companies are just looking to create products without necessarily looking into the potential security risks. Serious hacks of Smart Devices in recent years prove that there is little effort in the design of Smart Device security.
Additionally, unlike devices like a PC or smartphone where you can install the necessary security software, most IoT devices in the market don’t have such capabilities. Zero-day exploits thanks to hasty production could lead to serious harm in the physical world, especially when considering devices such as medical equipment.
Whether we like it or not, the IoT is here to stay. The surest way to protect yourself from the threats posed by Smart Devices is to avoid them entirely. However, where that is an impossible option, you should shop smart.
Buying newly released products might make you seem cool, but it also opens you up to a lot of risks. At the very least, you should wait a while before purchasing a Smart Home Device to give companies to find security flaws, if present.