5 Ways To Minimize IoT Vulnerabilities In Your Smart Home Network
The Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to expand and broaden its own horizons while simultaneously helping to usher people into a future, which is brimming with all the possibilities that an interconnected world presents. There are many industries that are working to incorporate the Internet of Things into their infrastructure. One of these industries has been the home security industry and there are many homeowners who are no proud parents to smart homes.
The smart home is one greatest aspects of the Internet of Things, just because of the sheer number of actions it allows you to complete through simple commands. For instance, some people can program their homes so that their lights come on as soon as they walk through the door. There are many benefits to the IoT, from increased efficiency to more comfortable living. However, there are some inherent vulnerabilities in the way the Internet of Things works, and it is easy to see why.
The basis of the IoT is that there are several different devices connected to each other on a network, and all sharing information and relaying data. This concept alone hints at the fact that there are multiple entryways for unauthorized users, as well as security concerns simply because of the sheer number of interconnected devices. When it comes to homeowners who are using the IoT to power their smart home networks, how can they minimize these IoT vulnerabilities? LetÕs take a look at some of the ways they can avert this:
1. Proper Password Management
It’s always best, to begin with, the basics, and one of the basics of great network security is always making sure that you are properly managing the passwords that grant devices access to your network. The first step to proper password management is to ensure that you create unique passwords for each of the devices that you have connected to your smart home network. In addition to this, it is best to make sure that you change these passwords on a regular basis so that you are consistently reducing the possibility of anyone discovering them. There are many homeowners who overlook this simple method, but it goes a long way to help keep your network secure.
2. Utilize a secure Firewall
It is important for homeowners to realize how vulnerable their networks can be if they do not provide any form of protection. One of the best forms of protection comes in the form of a secure firewall. It is not a smart idea to leave your network protected by a simple router. Homeowners should invest in secure firewalls that act as safeguards to every accessible endpoint that exists on their network. Firewalls exist to help protect your network from unauthorized access and they greatly reduce the chances of anyone successfully hacking into your smart home network.
3. Security Software Updates
Managing software updates is quite similar to proper password management. This is because the brunt of the responsibility falls on the homeowner to be attentive. It is important that you constantly check to see if there are software updates available for the devices that you have on your smart home network. These software updates are an important part of ensuring that your devices continue to run smoothly.
In some cases, manufacturers might have discovered a flaw in the device and then release a software patch meant to rectify said problem. If the user does not take advantage of these software patches, they will most likely end up having severe network flaws and holes that a hacker can take advantage of to gain access to their network. One of the best ways to manage security software updates is to set at least 3 monthly reminders. That way you never fall into the trap of forgetting that you need to update your security software.
4. Disable additional features
Now, this is something that many homeowners tend to overlook, simply because they do not know this might increase the chances of their network being made vulnerable. In most cases, smart devices have additional features that grant them access to the networks at different times without necessarily having to go through any security verification or authorization.
This process makes your entire network extremely vulnerable because it gives hackers the opportunity to exploit these loopholes. When you are setting up your smart home network, it is imperative that you identify the additional features that each device might use. If there are any that leave your network open and accessible, make sure that you disable these features. Essentially, you want to make it as hard as possible for a hacker to gain access to your network. The most efficient way to do this is to plug up all possible access points that could end up being taken advantage of.
5. Private Network
The Internet of Things is a network of interconnected devices. It is not really a shock that this might seem lucrative to hackers. However, an additional way to minimize the flaws of an IoT network in the smart home is to utilize private networks. The use of a private network will add an additional layer of security for your IoT devices. Also, it is always best to keep the network that functions with your IoT devices separate from other networks so that they do not compromise each other with the amount of data that is being transmitted.
The IoT on a smart home network really changes the way a home can operate, and it increases the amount of possible things that any homeowner can accomplish. The benefits of the IoT are very likely endless, as we are only just scratching the surface. However, there are some vulnerabilities that exist, much like anything else, so it is crucial for homeowners to make sure that they are safe guarding themselves against any of these vulnerabilities. You may think that this is a high level of paranoia, but it is important to remember that if someone is able to gain access to one device on an IoT network, they will most likely gain access to your entire network simply by piggybacking off of the compromised device.
The steps mentioned above will help keep your smart home network safe, but do not forget that physical security also plays an important role in stemming inherent network vulnerabilities. As a homeowner, make sure that you discuss your home security with a security professional or a residential locksmith, they will be able to help you with smart lock installations as well as help you keep your home safe and secure.
Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.