Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Smart Tech Needs Cybersecurity Too

The Internet of Things and other "smart" tech may offer promises of a more convenient life, allowing you to operate any number of gadgets, home appliances, locks, lights, cameras, and more, all from the palm of your hand. However, some IoT and smart tech can also offer a really easy backdoor into your network for hackers, even after you've sent them off to the e-recycler.

Notably, one of the big problems is discount, or bargain bin smart tech. As Tech Crunch explains, often these devices will have absolutely no security whatsoever. That means after you toss it, or sell it on eBay, someone could extract private data, like your wifi password, or more.

Security Testing

While your cheapo smart lightbulbs may betray you after you throw them away, the problem runs much deeper than that. In Japan, for example, over half of the hacks in the country in 2017 targeted IoT devices. And with IoT devices becoming more prevalent by the minute, the government has decided to do a nationwide cybersecurity test.

The problem with cyberattacks in Japan is so widespread that the government's test will involve a team deliberating trying to infiltrate random members of the public. For the Japanese public, and everyone for that matter, it may be a good time to invest in better cybersecurity.

Free Cybersecurity Best Practice

If you're hesitant to spend money on cybersecurity, you can start with implementing some free "best practices." Some common cybersecurity measures you can take without breaking the bank at all are listed below:

  • Regularly change passwords -- When removing or recycling a device from your network, it may be wise to have a protocol in place to change any associated passwords.
  • Use the security you have -- One of the big backdoors people leave open to hackers is the front door. If you have security tools and you're not using them, it's time to start.
  • Destroy unsecure devices -- Research every IoT device and piece of tech you have by name to find out how secure it is. If you can't affirmatively find information about it being secure, minimally using some form of encryption, considering getting out the sledge hammer (or pliers if you'd like to avoid the mess) and a blow torch!
  • Avoid unsupported tech -- While brand name doesn't necessarily matter, if a tech company doesn't have a good reputation for providing support, then you may want to steer clear as they are likely to disappear rather than step up in case of a serious incident.

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