National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Week 3

Week 3: October 16-20 Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

By now most of us have heard of the Internet of Things, known as the IoT.  Week 3 reminds us that our personal information is the fuel that makes our smart devices work.  In order to reap the benefits of these devices we must do so in an environment that uses our best practices in digital safety.

Everything we use today is seemingly smart.  TV’s, refrigerators, backup sump pumps, garage doors, video monitoring systems, and just about everything else in your home these days is smart.  You are in a smart home.  With a smart car.  In a smart city.  Everything is interconnected, analyzed, and computed.  The internet of today is a glimpse of the technology of tomorrow, and getting ahead of the security curve now is as important as the technologies themselves.

We came across an excellent white paper that was put together by the IEEE Internet Initiative.  The link for the full paper is:

https://internetinitiative.ieee.org/images/files/resources/white_papers/internet_of_things_feb2017.pdf

The white paper frames the problem in an excellent and understandable way:

 

PROBLEM

Some manufacturers have produced and sold IoT devices that do not include sufficient security features. This has resulted in serious harm, both economic and otherwise, to specific parties and to the general public. A recent example of this include the DVRs and IP cameras now recalled by XiongMai Technologies [1]. As IoT devices proliferate, unless some action is taken to secure these devices, harm caused in the future may be even more severe.

Corporate and individual consumers of IoT devices may not currently possess the technical expertise to evaluate the cost/benefit of purchasing perhaps more expensive properly secured devices. Further, if the dangers presented by the devices affect only parties other than the seller or purchaser of the devices, then there may be no financial incentive for seller or purchaser to worry about device security.

 

In their statement above, the latter statement is where the gap is created.  This lack of “technical expertise: they speak of goes overlooked, and creates a vulnerability gap each time it is done for each device.Fortunately, the white paper also provides useful practices that can be implemented to help mitigate these vulnerability gaps.  They have grouped them under two best practices:

Protect Your Devices

Protects Your Networks

We recommend a full and complete reading of these tools to help your organization stay protected in this ever-changing digital world.

Look for more useful information in next week’s review of Week 4 of Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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