A connected device is anything that connects with another system via the Internet. On average, today’s US households own 11 connected devices, including seven with screens to view content (ie. TVs, tablets, smartphones). Of these connected devices, everyone can be vulnerable to an attack.
The most vulnerable devices are outdoor IoT devices (ie: cameras, smart doorbells). These devices have little security and are easily accessible to outsiders. The second most vulnerable set of devices are those in-home devices that can be controlled through an app on a smartphone or computer. These devices include smart bulbs, smart door locks, and personal home assistants. The least likely smart devices inside your home to be attacked are smart refrigerators and kitchen appliances; however, that does not make them entirely safe without the right protocols.
All your Internet-connected devices must be secure.
Start by creating a secure Wi-Fi network. Your router is one of the most important devices in your home. It monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic and controls access to your home Wi-Fi network. In your settings, you can hide your home network from view and update it with a strong password. Also, you can create a separate Wi-Fi network for your smart home devices versus your laptop. Particularly if you are working from home, this is a good rule of thumb to keep your smart home devices on a separate network than your business laptop.
Your password is the first line of defense for any attack. It is important to have a strong password. Consider making it a password phrase and utilizing at least one special character and an upper- and lower-case letter. Use multi-factor authentication if your device allows it.
Make sure you register every new device with the manufacturer. By registering, when a manufacturer pushes out a software update for any bugs or issues, your device will be updated.
The number of connected devices is increasing and is estimated to reach over 75 million connected devices by the end of 2025 giving bad actors more landscape to find vulnerabilities.