Working from home has increased due to the corona pandemic. More and more employees work part-time or even full-time in the home office. But that also harbors security risks, above all through IoT devices ( Internet of Things) . Learn how to best protect these devices and eliminate potential security risks.
Cybersecurity Threats From IoT Devices
IoT devices include many devices: smart coffee machines, vacuum cleaners, lighting or heart rate monitors; to name just a few examples. Connecting these devices to the Internet has many benefits in terms of utility and effectiveness.
But experts continue to point out that it is imperative to improve security measures to ensure that devices do not compromise the overall security of corporate networks. This is especially true at a time when remote working has increased significantly and therefore the reliability of workers’ IT networks at home is a factor in the overall security of corporate networks.
After all, those who work from home usually access the company network to access documents, write and receive messages, or access devices such as printers or scanners.
As an employee, you must always be aware that hackers can compromise IoT devices and access the work computer if both devices use the same router.
Unfortunately, many users do not think about protecting themselves properly when they have such devices at home, even if they are actually aware of their responsibility. This behavior is largely fueled by the belief that attacks only happen to other people, so users only start caring about their privacy after they’ve been hacked themselves.
The history of the IoT is a history of security and privacy issues. These devices will increasingly dominate our homes, industries and cities. Many people now have a vacuum cleaner robot at home or a smart speaker like Alexa or Apple’s HomePod.
More devices bring more problems and vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit. Hopefully, as the IoT grows, there will also be more government engagement, better regulatory initiatives, and increased user awareness. You can and should also actively take care of your own cyber security:
This Is How You Can Protect Yourself
Certainly, the safest thing would be not to own any such devices, or at least to keep their number to a minimum. But if you don’t want to do without it, you should first find out about it online before buying a device.
Avoid buying the cheapest device from an unknown manufacturer . The market is flooded with unfinished products that may contain security vulnerabilities. Also, change the default password before first use and install updates regularly.
The device password should be complex and unique. For convenience, do not use a password that you already use on one of your other accounts. If hackers hijack your IoT device and learn the password there, they could quickly gain access to more of your accounts. Let a password manager help you. The tool can help you create strong passwords and store them centrally in a virtual vault.
Protect yourself with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This encrypts all your data and first sends it to a VPN server. It is only there that the data is decrypted and forwarded to the actual target server. Some companies already use an internal VPN that you have to log into while you work and that is protected from outside attacks.
For the private area, you can rely on an application from one of the well-known VPN providers such as NordVPN. Check out NordVPN user experiences beforehand or read reviews of other VPN providers. As with the IoT devices, the unknown free VPN is not necessarily the best choice.
Activate the firewall on your PC . Every computer has this, but it is not always activated on the devices in advance. A firewall controls the data flow between the internal network and the external network. The firewall checks all data that leaves the network and that wants to enter the network. This gives you additional protection against unauthorized access from outside.