The Internet of Things is a great concept which has allowed us to mechanize a lot of the tedious activities around our households. It has also allegedly allowed us to have better security by having automated tools which can perform all of the required checks and alert us if something is amiss. However, everything is not as perfect as it seems once you move past the surface.
There is ample evidence to suggest that although IoT helps us with a lot of security issues that we may be facing, it may very well be exposing us to brand new risks which we may not know about. We will be taking a look at some of the major threats brought on by the integration of IoT into our lives so that we can recommend effective solutions.
What are the Bandwidth Attacks
A Bandwidth attack is essentially a Distributed Denial of Service Attack. What it does is send an innumerable amount of packets your way so your connection is unable to handle them, and thus goes bust. This way, you will not have internet access.
It should be quite obvious what can happen if this happens to your security system. If your security system is down, then you will not be alarmed if an intrusion is detected. This could lead to theft and sabotage among other things.
The standard internet technology is fairly well-equipped to deal with any problem that may arise from a DDoS attack. There are security measures in most of our internet devices which can detect when a bandwidth attack is happening and thus filter it out. However, the Internet of Things fairly complicates matters.
Since a lot of the technology that IoT uses (e.g CCTV cameras) has not been updated in a long time, it is entirely possible that a hacker could utilize a loophole in one of the devices in your network and use it to start a bandwidth attack against you. In fact,DDoS attacks increased 91% in 2017 due to IoT devices.
Solution: Use a VPN
Despite all of the ways that hackers can take advantage of you, there is an easy all-purpose solution that can effectively ensure that you are protected from any sort of bandwidth attack. Using a Virtual Private Network will route all of your internet traffic through a secure server which is hosted at a remote location.
We recommend you use excellent rated ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is the leading VPN which has now become an industry standard. Not only does it have impeccable security features, but it also boasts unmatched speeds across its entire network.
Since your traffic will be routed through one of Express VPN’s servers, the server will be able to gauge which packets are a part of the Bandwidth attack and sort them out before only sending you the data that you actually need. Even if a bandwidth attack manages to overload one of ExpressVPN’s servers, all you will need to do is to switch to a different one (they have over 2000) to solve the problem.
Apart from this, ExpressVPN also protects you from any spying through its bank-grade AES-256 encryption, kill-switch, and DNS Leak Protection.
Solution: Update Firmware
This is another thing which is extremely important if you want maximum protection. Most people keep their phone and computer’s software up to date. However, they often forget to realize that their IoT devices may also have updates available.
As we mentioned above, most of the devices currently used in your IoT network are outdated technology, and thus they could easily be compromised. The manufacturers of such products realize this and they regularly release updates for them in order to deal with most of the new threats that arise. Make sure that you check for firmware updates at least once a month on all of your IoT devices for maximum protection.
Solution: Take Router side Precautions
Lastly, remember that it is important for you to have your router as protected as it can be. Make sure that you change your default password and router name. On top of that, it is a good practice to have 2 separate routers for usage and security.
When it comes to the router that is primarily used for security purposes, it is best to hide the SSID of the router as it will not allow anyone else to take a look at your router. Think of it as denying random strangers the opportunity to figure out any vulnerability in your router that may exist. Also, remember to turn off your WPS since it is very easy to break into WiFi networks through WPS.
Remember that you should take all 3 of the precautions that are mentioned above in order to have the maximum amount of security for your IoT devices. If you use a VPN, protect your router, and update your firmware, it is almost impossible for someone to launch a bandwidth attack on you. After following this guide, you can rest easy since and let your technology worry about the security for once.