What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
Internet of Things is a phrase which refers to the growing variety of devices capable of connecting to the internet. Examples include vehicles, thermostats, lights, doorbells, garages, locks, buildings, appliances, security cameras, and many others.
Convenience versus security
These devices give us an unprecedented level of control and access which is very useful and convenient, but there is something to be considered when accessing our things via the internet – security.
The use of computers and many types of technology in general is a delicate balancing act between convenience and security. For example, a short and simple password is convenient but insecure; whereas, a very long and complicated password is secure but inconvenient.
Where we decide to operate on this spectrum is entirely up to us as individuals and organizations and is our responsibility. Regarding the Internet of Things, Sparklight would strongly recommend some basic security measures which should lessen the chances of intrusion.
Local network versus internet access: does the device in question really need to be accessed when away from home? This can vary depending on the device, but the point is to limit access to the home network (not allowing access to the internet) as much as possible. Only devices which must absolutely be accessed from anywhere in the world should be given the ability to reach out to the worlds' internet.
Admin password: when setting up these devices, it is vitally important to change their admin passwords. Individuals and organizations using bots are scouring the internet at all times and trying to log into our devices using the default credentials. To prevent this type of control, we need only to change the admin password when we are setting up a new device.
Note: not all devices have admin passwords which can be changed – please check with the manufacturer if you're not sure.
Firmware updates: the firmware on each device should be kept up to date as the updates contain security patches which will protect them. If you are not sure if the firmware is current, please contact the device's manufacturer for more information.
Please contact the manufacturer of each of your devices and ask them how to implement the best practices we've outlined.