As the holiday season progresses, there is a noticeable trend in the items that stores offer: connectivity. From appliances that automatically activate under certain conditions to devices that give you greater control over your surroundings, the Internet of Things is sure to be seen wrapped in packages this month. However, there is one important consideration to keep in mind concerning the IoT: security.
Unfortunately, the IoT is notorious for iffy-at-best security measures. This has had the effect of increasing the frequency of newsworthy cybercrime, making security one of the biggest issues that Internet of Things programmers and designers will need to address--and soon.
You might remember hearing about something called Mirai last year, when a large portion of the Internet went down in October. Summed up, this event was caused by an attack on Dyn, which supplied these websites with services essential to their function. This attack was powered by a botnet, or a collection of compromised Internet-connected devices whose resources are leveraged to overpower a target’s security.
Botnets once relied on compromised computers to carry out their attacks, but with the Internet of Things growing in popularity, there are many more potential ‘soldiers’ ready to join a botnet’s army. This rise in numbers isn’t the only issue the IoT presents, either.
By their nature, most IoT devices aren’t built with much consideration put into the device’s security, either. On top of that, it isn’t exactly easy to patch a security issue that affects an IoT device even if the manufacturer suddenly becomes more concerned with security.
As a result, many IoT devices that are currently on the market are particularly susceptible to cyberattack--and since these devices provide a link to your network, whether business network or personal, there is an increased danger to that as well.
Once the holiday decorations are put away and the wrapping paper is cleaned up, the first thing you need to do is make sure your security is prepared for an influx of new IoT gifts introducing themselves to your networks.
KT Connections can help. Reach out to us at 605-341-3873 for more information.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.
Rodd is a technology evangelist around the software defined data center and helps the systems engineers at KT Connections research technology trends and market forces. He also performs pre-sales engineering and deployment supervision to customers for Public, Hybrid, and Private cloud scenarios.
A native of Minnesota, Rodd grew up in a farming family around Worthington, MN. He has lived in Rapid City for twelve years now with his wife, Julie, and three children. Rodd is actively involved in his community as a Boy Scout leader and participates in various technology conferences.