After years of promises by manufacturers, Internet of Things (IoT) device sales are increasing dramatically.  IOT devices are internet connected devices that people don’t traditionally associate with the internet – TVs, thermostats, lightbulbs, coffeemakers, and countless other devices which can be tracked and accessed remotely.

But before you go buying and adding all of these great new products to your network, make sure you’ve done your security homework!  Because manufacturers don’t think of these devices as computers, they often do a terrible job of securing them.  If they can be compromised, and they are connected to your business network, they can do serious damage!  Consider these examples:

A security researcher recently demonstrated how to use a device that pretends to be a legitimate broadcast signal and takes over a smart TV.  Once the malware was installed, the TV can be controlled from anywhere across the globe.

Last year, a different security researcher team demonstrated a thermostat ransomware hack.  The thermostat, which was running Linux, was set to 99 degrees, and control would only be returned if the target paid Bitcoin to the cyber attackers to obtain a pin number to unlock the thermostat.

Malware called BrickerBot targets Internet of Things devices and attempts to corrupt these devices’ storage, rendering them useless.  Imagine this hitting your internet-connected refrigerator, and you can see how this could become an expensive problem quickly.

In addition to threatening these devices directly, there’s a bigger threat for businesses – if a device inside your corporate network is compromised, it makes it much easier for thieves to gain access to workstations and servers, and run off with your data. This is another instance where your security is only as strong as your weakest link.

To learn more about how a Managed Service Provider can help your company stay secure from these types of attacks, call WingSwept at 919.779.0954 or email us at