The number of internet-connected devices in homes has been growing. It's increased exponentially over the last decade. A typical home now has 10.37 devices connected to the internet. PCs and mobile devices make up a little over half of those and the rest are IoT devices.
IoT stands for Internet of Things. It means any other type of “smart device” that connects online. IoT devices in a home can be everything from your streaming stick to your smart refrigerator. Smart baby monitors and Alexa voice assistants are also IoT.
There's also been another change that has happened over the last couple of years. It has been the increase in remote and hybrid work. The pandemic caused a major shift in where we work, turning the standard office paradigm on its head.
Now, working remotely has become the norm for many companies around the world. This has put increased scrutiny on the security of all those IoT devices. They are now sharing a Wi-Fi network with business data and devices.
Here are two alarming statistics that illustrate the issue with IoT security:
Hackers Can Use IoT Devices to Access Your Computer and More
Smart devices are a risk to any other device on a network. They are typically easier to breach. So, hackers will use them as a gateway into more sensitive devices.
A criminal may not care about the shopping list stored in your smart refrigerator. But they’ll breach that IoT device to see what other devices are on the same network.
The hacker can then use sharing and permissions that are often present on home networks. Through these, they gain access to your work computer or mobile device. These devices hold important data, and access to personal details.
Why are IoT devices less secure than computers and smartphones? Here are a few reasons:
Secure Your Network By Utilizing "Guest" Wi-Fi
Just about all modern routers will have the ability to set up a second Wi-Fi network, called a “guest network.” This shows up when you connect to Wi-Fi as a separate Wi-Fi that a device can use to get online.
By putting all your IoT devices on a separate network you improve security. You cut that bridge that hackers use to go from an IoT device to another device on the same network. Such as those that hold sensitive information (computers and mobile devices).
In fact, when you separate those two (IoT devices and sensitive-info devices) a hacker can't see all. If they breach one of your smart devices, they can't tell you have a PC or smartphone. This is because they’re on the other network.
This is an important layer of security to use. Whether you’re a remote worker or use your computer for home budgeting and banking, it can help. All PCs and smartphones usually contain access to online banking or personal information.
As you add any new devices to your home network, make sure to connect them to the appropriate network. This keeps the layer of security effective.
One more tip: When naming your Wi-Fi networks, don’t use descriptive names. This includes things like “IoT network” or your name, address, or router model name.
It’s best to use names that won’t give the hackers valuable information they can use in attacks.
With so many remote workers, hackers have begun targeting home networks. They know they can contain sensitive business as well as personal data. Don’t leave yourself open to a breach!
Call us to schedule a home internet security review today. 262-515-9499
Patience is often a virtue and being budget-conscious is also a plus in business. Yet taking a “wait and see” approach with business tech is a top IT mistake.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the current economy. You may be looking to save money to give your business more budget leeway. But if you don’t make ongoing investments in your IT, your business could suffer.
You might skip software upgrades, but that can put your business at risk from cyber bad actors, who look to exploit weaknesses when people don't upgrade their systems.
Deciding to put off replacing older devices or legacy hardware, you may be thinking, "What’s one more year?" It can make a big difference, actually. Your systems may have vulnerabilities that cyberattackers will leverage. Your hardware may not be able to keep up with your business during its busy times, and your people could be working on devices that are no longer supported by the manufacturer. If something does go wrong, you’re on your own.
Trying to get by with less when it comes to business technology can hurt your business. We’re not saying you have to throw all sorts of money at every new technology out there, of course; it’s about fitting the right technology to your specific business needs.
Business tech: Better now than later
Businesses today are undergoing digital transformation. Across industries, people see the advantages of IT. The right technology enhances the quality of work and boosts productivity. You have the tools needed to support faster processing and wider information distribution.
Thinking only short-term about technology, as in “it’s working fine for now,” could hurt you in the long run, however, and by not looking after your tech and keeping it current, you could be missing out on:
Moving forward with an MSP
There is an inevitability to investment in business tech. You know you’re going to need it. But taking the wait-and-see approach simply puts you at risk of a cyberattack or other productivity drains. Keeping your IT current and investing in this essential area can benefit employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and your business's bottom line.
Not sure what technology to focus on while working within your budget? Our IT experts can help. We’ll get to know your systems and your unique needs. Then, we'll make suggestions about the smartest investment areas for your business. Contact us today at 262-515-9499!
Tech Force Blog
We provide you with important, practical tips and insight for your technology and networks for both home and business.