Our ‘connected online’ world – associated risks

Our ‘connected online’ world – associated risks

What is the Internet of Things (IoT) you ask?  Smart TVs and fridges, apps that allow you to control your home lighting/heating/CCTV from your smartphone, fitbits that store your data on a web portal, etc – the stuff that makes our lives easier as we becoming increasingly ‘connected online’.  But there are also associated risks.

 

We attended a conference in London this week and were reminded of the growing need to protect our devices and ourselves as we become more immersed in this connected world.

 

We listened to an excellent panel of speakers who spoke with real authority about the threats in our online world.  Just some of the alarming threats highlighted include:

 

  • The average cost of a single data breach to large organisations amounts to USD4 million (and that doesn’t take into account the reputational damage that can result in more lost business);
  • Between June and November 2016, more than 1 billion new style ‘ransomware’ attacks took place (maliciously encrypting the data on your device and charging a ransom to decrypt it!);
  • Attacks are predominantly from automated BOTs – (not real human beings) and they are most successful if devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, etc) are not up to date with the latest patches and system updates;
  • The most vulnerable environments (including home networks) are those where the username and password of the router has not been changed from the default factory settings;
  • In a USA Today study, 6 PCs were connected to the internet without any security applied.  Immediately 305,922 attacks began – and the first successful penetration occurred after just 4 minutes;
  • Similar tests were carried out on a smart toaster (yes, they do exist – toasters connected and controlled over the web!) and that resulted in exactly the same attack level and success rate.

 

So as smart devices take hold – smart watches speak to other devices, mobile phones control all manner of things – you simply MUST ensure all devices are protected from the bad guys.

 

Our advice:

  1. Change that router username and password – please don’t use PASSWORD!
  2. Keep your devices up to date with the latest patches and updates;
  3. Implement robust firewall and anti-virus solutions;
  4. Your No. 1 first line of defence – implement a secure, reliable, offsite data backup system (such as ours …..)

 

Hackers can and do get through – but can’t do too much damage if you can quickly and easily restore your data back to the point before they take over your online life.

 

Please give us a call or get in touch to find out more about our data backup service.