The Internet of Things, with its potential for interconnectivity and constant communication, is seeing a growth in popularity, but Prescient solutions owner and CIO Jerry Irvine, who is also a member of the National Cybersecurity Partnership, warns that the infrastructure is uncertain and not secure.
“Truthfully, it’s scary as hell,” Irvine is quoted in IT World as saying. “The Internet in and of itself is an insecure and highly risky environment. It’s like walking down an alley at night without the appropriate security measures.”
Early remotely controlled devices were not very intelligent and existed simply to gather and share basic information, without any security measures. Modern “Internetable” devices are seeing the same trend with little more than an individual user ID and password for security, making them what Irvine called “the weakest link in your network.”
“Most likely (hackers) are going to steal your information the same way they’re stealing everything else, with a virus or malicious application that you download from the Internet,” Irvine said. “Your PC is going to be breached, it’s going to gather all your information, send it out in a script to somebody, and now they’re going to have all your information. Antivirus solutions only protect you against 30 percent of known viruses and malware.”
Irvine advises that consumers put their IoT device on a VLAN and only communicate to them with a VPN. Although this is a bit extreme for the average consumer, he said they can have a professional install security measures for them, too, otherwise they’re better off avoiding IoT devices.