By: Julius McGee Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
We’ve entered a new stage of technological evolution. Essentially, everything that surrounds us is now connected to the web. The term that we use to describe this ecosystem? IoT, the internet of things. It has attracted some of the biggest names, including Apple and Samsung.
If the pundits are right, then soon everything, from microwaves, toasters, and even light bulbs will have internet functionalities.
There are a lot of exciting possibilities, but with these possibilities comes the challenge. The biggest challenge, of course, is the security. Any device which is Internet enabled is vulnerable to an attack from hackers. So, can you even imagine the risk we face if every appliance and object that we use is connected to the Internet?
The majority of the public has no idea how serious the threats are with the tech they use. Despite the repeated warnings, at least half the population is clueless. The dangers are real, from taking over cars, to launching cyber-attacks, and hackers hacking IoT devices.
Cars could be compromised
The auto industry has been quick to jump on the IoT. Manufacturers are launching models with hubs and infotainment systems that are Internet enabled. Not to mention, driverless cars are on the way. The industry may be booming, but the road we’re on may not be smooth one if security is still a problem.
In a controlled experiment, hackers were able to compromise a Jeep traveling at almost 70mph. They were able to take over steering, as well as apply the brakes, all remotely.
If this happened in the real world, there would be a serious risk of a loss of life. Connected vehicles will need advanced technology to protect their integrity.
Hackers aren’t just using their skills to cause chaos in computers, they’re looking to exploit any connected gadget, for instance: smart thermostats, wearables, webcams, and Wi-Fi routers.
Malware is incredibly popular which hackers use. It allows them to compromise any device in which the malware infects. In fact, just last year, hackers were able to launch an attack on a French provider using over one hundred thousand IoT devices. They inundated the provider, creating mayhem. We should expect to see similar incidents over the coming years if this problem isn’t addressed.
Are all devices vulnerable?
Every device is vulnerable, and as the IoT expands exponentially, consumers will continue to flock for the newest tech. For cyber criminals, this is a lucrative opportunity to take advantage of. Consumer ready hardware is notoriously simple to hack.
As we continue to turn to smart products, such as TVs, baby cameras, and home security systems, we are open to being exploited through malware, fraud, or ransomware.
Consumers can lessen the risk of having their devices hacked. This is through a simple change in the credentials default device. Simply disable unused services and modify the devices privacy settings, and keep firmware up to date. While the IoT is in its infancy, as it evolves and expands the security threats do too.
There is an imperative need for organizations and manufacturers to develop precautions to halt hackers in their tracks. If they fail to do so, we’re all going to be the victims.
These tech tips were provided by Nerd Alert. Nerd Alert provides people and businesses with an easy and trusted way to get on-demand, personalized tech help, device set up, training and repair for all devices right to their doorstep from helpful Nerds in their own community.