“Alexa, are you a security risk?”

Over the last few years, IoT (the Internet of Things) has steadily and quietly been playing a bigger role in our lives. Whether it’s a smart speaker at home, a WiFi-enabled security camera at Starbucks or that new smart thermostat at your office, IoT devices are everywhere. According to an SDX Central report, we spent over $1 trillion on IoT devices worldwide, just last year. That means there are up to nearly 30 billion IoT devices out there, nearly 5 for every person on the planet! But here’s the trouble: 98% of IoT traffic is unencrypted. Businesses lose millions each year due to attacks on IoT devices that steal data or piggyback into secure networks. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

What Is the IoT?

IoT is short for the Internet of Things, and it is exactly what it sounds like. There are all kinds of internet-connected “things” in our lives smart TVs and fridges, thermostats, toothbrushes, door sensors, cameras, oh, and every single one of our smartphones. The Internet of Things refers to the immense network of these devices, connected to each other and to work and home networks and the internet at large.

What do IoT devices do?

In most cases, IoT devices are the same as the regular appliances they’re gradually replacing, whether that’s a washing machine, a watch or your toothbrush. The key difference is that they collect, store and transfer data to each other and across the internet. This enables “smart” product capabilities that allow you to do so much more with them.

In the office, IoT devices can help control room temperature, empower your physical security team and help you print out a client proposal, straight from your phone. IoT devices leverage big data to make our lives easier. But that’s exactly what makes them such a big cybersecurity risk.

Why Are IoT Devices a Security Risk?

When hackers probe your network, they’re generally looking for the weakest point of entry. In many cases, this means your unprotected IoT devices. A staggering 98% of IoT device traffic is unencrypted. This means anyone with the right tools could capture the data and listen in.

Just how vulnerable are these devices? A recent Palo Alto report puts a number on it: over 50% of IoT devices are vulnerable to medium and high-severity cyberattacks. This means that hackers have access to plenty of unsecured IoT devices. To make matters worse, a NETSCOUT report indicated that the typical IoT device is hit by a cyberattack just 5 minutes after connecting to the internet.

The biggest risk here comes from niche and older devices that might not have been updated in awhile. An internetconnected mammogram machine, for example, was targeted by old, otherwise ineffective malware because it had next to no security in place.

The reality is that the IoT is here to stay. Your office and your team already use dozens, if not hundreds, of IoT devices. The question, then, is simple: How do you keep your IoT devices safe from hacker attacks?

Medicine Bow Protects Your IoT Devices with Cisco VPN

98% of IoT traffic is unencrypted. That means encrypting IoT communications making it tough for hackers to snoop your data is the critical first step you need to take towards bolstering your IoT cybersecurity.

One of the best ways to do this is through enterprise-class VPN (virtual private networking).

Cisco’s FPR 1010: an All-in-One IoT Security Solution

At Medicine Bow Technologies, the Cisco Firepower 1000 Series of security appliance is our go-to option for enterprise-class IoT security. The FPR-1010, in particular, combines VPN capabilities with a hardware firewall, antivirus and access management. Routing your IoT traffic through a FPR-1010 device will make it significantly harder for hackers to steal your data or gain access to your devices.

How Medicine Bow Technologies Can Help

As a Wyoming IT managed services leader, Medicine Bow Technologies offers an end-to-end white glove approach to your IoT device security. We’ll support you with everything from project and network design to actually configuring your VPN and security appliances. We’ve helped clients bolster their IoT security in a range of industries, from doctors in IoT-enabled smart hospitals fighting COVID to work-from-home employees on their smartphones to sales staff on the road. We’ll help you understand the lay of your IoT infrastructure and plan and deploy a Cisco-empowered security strategy from the ground up.

Right now, your IoT devices are vulnerable. You could be minutes away from a catastrophic data breach. Medicine Bow can make sure you stay safe.

Let’s set you up with a free consultation call to talk about your IoT cybersecurity.