Less Than Two Weeks Into 2017, The Cybersecurity Landscape Is Already Shifting
The online safety world made it just days into the new year without a major cybersecurity disclosure. On Thursday, January 5th, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against D-Link Corp. a. The FTC accused the Taiwan-based technology equipment maker of neglecting the security of its routers and internet-connected surveillance cameras.
The lawsuit against D-Link is part of the FTC’s broader attempt to improve the integrity of Internet-connected devices, including wireless routers, video cameras, VCRs and other common consumer devices. Widely referred to as the “Internet of Things,” this group of devices has become one of the top targets for international hackers, with criminals hacking into many nanny cameras, printers, home security systems, thermostats, and even on-board computers in cars, trucks, and SUVs. Last October, a massive denial of service (or “DDoS”) attack was attributed to just such an Internet of Things hack.
So where does the FTC come in? Allison Nixon, director of security research at cyber-intelligence firm Flashpoint, told Reuters that the lawsuit against D-Link could motivate other device makers to increase their own security levels. From easily exploitable flaws like default passwords to lax built-in security measures on off-the-shelf devices, think of this government action as being comparable to vehicle mileage standards: when manufacturers know that security levels will be tightened across the industry, they will make every effort to produce and release the safest devices possible.
What can you do to improve and ensure your Internet security?
1.) Keep passwords safe to protect your networks, computers and devices.
If you buy a new router, smartphone, laptop or other device, make sure that the default password is immediately replaced with a strong password with at least 8 characters (lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols). To further improve password security, consider enabling two-factor authentication for all email, financial, and social media accounts, and employing an enterprise-level password management solution that automates setting, rotating, resetting, and removing user passwords can handle. In other words, let’s put the old sticky note method of password reminders out of business forever.
2.) Beware of public WLAN.
We all have to use it at some point to get work done on the go, but since anyone can access the same network you are on (and hackers can exploit it with extremely simple tools available online for free), avoid any financial transactions, Password resets, file uploads and downloads, and other transfers of personal information. If you only need a few minutes of connection, consider using your phone as an internet hotspot. Otherwise, spend a few bucks to get access to a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop’s private Wi-Fi network. It’s still not as secure as it could be, but it’s far better than joining that unprotected public network.
3.) Implement 24/7 monitoring and maintenance.
Many security experts advise turning off office equipment and/or disconnecting internet-connected devices when not in use (especially on weekends) to reduce the risk of cybercriminals. But at CMIT Solutions, we keep our customers’ systems running non-stop so we can keep a constant eye on desktops, laptops, servers, routers, printers and other devices. Our advanced traffic analysis solutions work 24/7, so we are always up to date with the changing safety landscape.
When it comes to online security, there is no substitute for the guidance of an IT professional using the best commercial equipment to prevent hacking activity. And while 100% protection is difficult, with an experienced IT provider on your side, you can prevent problems and fix problems before they become technical disasters.
CMIT Solutions understands the changing world of digital protection and we work around the clock to protect our customers from internet related scams, infections and hacks. If you have questions about the Internet of Things or need help assessing the security of your networks, systems and devices, contact us today.
Comprehensive IT security requires support on several levels.
Preventing today’s ever-evolving security threats isn’t easy. And it’s not something that only one tool can achieve. Believe it or not, your company’s well-meaning employees can also pose a major security threat.
learn more about Multi-layered IT security solutions by CMIT.
See more new articles in category: GUIDES