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How the Convenience of The Internet of Things Can Come Back to Bite Us

While the Internet of Things has made many common tasks much easier through automation, it has also increased the potency of particular cybersecurity threats. For an excellent example, one only has to turn to the increasing prevalence of botnets that are powered by IoT technology.

An Overview of the IoT, and Why It’s Great For Botnets
If you wear a fitness tracker that automatically syncs to your phone, or have an Internet-connected security camera watching your house, you are utilizing the Internet of Things. Usually labelled as ‘connected’ or ‘smart,’ these devices collect data and process that data via a connection to the Internet.

While these devices have proven to be very useful, there is a major problem with them that seems to be present throughout the IoT: a noticeable lack of security measures. Combining this lack of security precautions with their need to connect to the Internet creates the ideal conditions for a botnet to gather.

A botnet pools the resources of a large network of infected devices to overcome the target’s security through a brute force attack. The attack on Dyn that made dozens of the web’s most popular sites go dark was a botnet, proving that this method of attack is no joke.

A New-ish Face on the Scene
While there is no shortage of botnets already, a new derivative of the infamous Mirai is using the same IP cameras to infect thousands of devices in China. This particular botnet has been named Persirai, and is just one of many that warrant concern.

For example, there is another botnet that Kaspersky Lab has concluded to have infected about 300,000 IoT devices. While this botnet, codenamed Hajime, is still dormant, it could potentially rival Mirai if it were to meet the expectations of security experts and become active.

Keeping Your Business Safe
Luckily, there are a few ways you can help to reduce the impact that a botnet can have on your business. A good rule of thumb is to follow business continuity best practices. As an example, your business data shouldn’t only be kept in one place. An offsite backup solution will allow you data to be preserved if you ever are assaulted by a botnet. It always helps to have a firewall solution in place as well, as they can mitigate some botnet attacks.

If you need help protecting your business against the vulnerabilities that the IoT creates, give us a call at NTConnections. Call us at (703) 288-9767 to get started.