Imagine the time before the internet, the time before automation, before the assembly line, before much of our machinery; people have always wanted to have their things do the job themselves. I mean, hot sun, middle of the afternoon, you, looking at the vast outdoors and staring at your sickle, just mouthing—“why can’t this thing I’m holding cut all the grass on its own and call me when it’s done?” It’s here now, through the genius of IoT devices. I bet you’re running that Bill Gates quote about lazy people right about now.
It’s been a long way since some genius named Romkey connected a toaster to the internet (and everyone near him simply asking “why?”). The Internet of Things now connects homes, businesses, even factories to the internet at an amazing rate.
It’s not always good. Science fiction movies (live long and prosper) and cartoons (think Jetsons) seem to have infected our minds with some sort of bug that makes us want to have everything on IoT!
Here are examples of IoT applications, from the good 😃, to the bad 😬 and the ugly 👿.
1. Smart Factories like Haier, Johnson and Johnson, Haier, and Proctor & Gamble. 😃... On second thought, let's put that under neutral as there would always be the John Henry debate.
2. Smart Watches, from your Fitbit to your Apple watch. James bond eat your heart out. 😃
3. Full Home Smart devices. Google Home, Alexa, even Siri. What will we do without them? 😃
4. Smart Vacuum Cleaners. IoT Roombas of the future. 😃
5. Smart Doorbells. There is a lot in the market now, allowing you to answer the door from a distance, some even pair with Smart Locks allowing people instant access through digital keys. There are even ones with face recognition in the works. 😃
6. Smart toothbrushes, like the ones from Kolibree (https://www.kolibree.com/en) because we can’t really be expected to know how to brush all the time? 😬
7. Toasters that make their own decisions, see this one from Revcook (https://revcook.com/). Toasters online? Why? Because someone out there wants it. 😬
8. Smart Mirrors that help you know if you look good or if your clothes don’t match well! 😬
9. Egg Cartons with an App. Because we can’t remember when we are out of eggs and if they have gone bad already. 😬
10. Smart Forks. From the folks at Hapilabs (https://www.hapilabs.com/product/hapifork), IOT forks, because... because they can!
11. Military Drones. All I got to say is one line-- War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing. 👿
12. Four-legged robots with sniper rifles. See the line above. How far away are we from, say, an Arnold looking for Sarah Connor? 👿
Knowing that, like everything else so far on the internet, IoT is a tool. It would be up to the people who use and program it if it goes to the side of good, or evil, or simply for fun. It’s a technology that won’t go away so easily.
What we do know is, everything that connects to something else can be intercepted and can be hacked. That doesn’t mean we’ll let them!
Here are 5 things we can do to secure our IoT devices, especially in the workplace.
1. Regularly monitor the devices. Since there are very few ways we can do that, what we monitor is the “behavior” of our IoTs. Are they working as intended? Are they doing something they should not?
2. Firmware updates. This may not always be plausible as some IOT companies may close down, so your IOTs may not be getting an update if they are discontinued. As long as the company is still open, get firmware updates.
3. Place Powerful Passwords. Don’t just leave the default passwords on your IOTs, make stronger ones and schedule a regular password change.
4. Segment your network. Put your IoTs in the workplace on a segmented network so you can easily troubleshoot when needed.
5. Keep a pristine record of devices. Make sure your devices are visible, keep your records complete and very detailed, serial numbers, firmware versions, passwords, manufacturers, among other information. This helps in updates and knowing how to handle future issues.
As a bonus, if you have a lot of IoT devices at home, you may want to look at IoT security boxes like those made by Bitdefender, Norton, Cujo, F-Prot. They act as an additional layer of protection and detection for IoT devices. Although, because of low demand, some of these devices are already discontinued. It’s a long wait till we see really good security firewalls if the demand is not high.
If you’re still worried that your office needs prepping because of having too much IoT and are thinking of the vulnerabilities they bring, let Boom Logic secure your IOTs and keep your staff updated on the proper way of securing your devices. It’s a technology that’s here to stay and we should all be as ready as we can be.