The Rise of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a rising phenomenon over the last few years. There are more and more common devices connecting to the Internet like TVs, printers, garage doors and thermostats with more being added every day. In 2015, there were over 4.9 billion connected devices and Gartner estimates there will be more than 50 billion in 2020.
But with the rise of connected devices comes the increased security risks that lie within the devices. Most of these connected devices are not built with security as a priority feature. Small businesses rely on many connected devices like printers, scanners, TVs, and video equipment to run their businesses––all of which are connected to the Wi-Fi router.
Unfortunately, most Wi-Fi routers are also not built with security in mind. In early 2016, The Wall Street Journal looked at the security capabilities of the top 20 consumer routers and found that only six of those had up-to-date ﬁrmware at that time, and just two of them had good password processes. Some small businesses (as well as home offices) don’t have corporate firewalls or unified threat management (UTM) systems in place and are relying on these consumer-level routers that aren’t providing enough protection.
The Threat of Hackers
As with any new device or software, hackers love to find the vulnerabilities and exploit their findings. In 2015 alone, cybersecurity experts discovered major flaws in some connected baby monitors, IP-enabled toys and even a connected car. Hackers are not just focused on corporate businesses anymore; home and small-office networks are seen as soft targets that may provide a way in to larger targets, like larger business partners, client companies or corporate employers.