Archive | November 2016

Wireless Reindeer and the Miracle of Connected Eggnog

CyberMonday: the term is synonymous with Amazon deals, record-breaking technology sales and Christmas wish list fulfillment. While it may be a contemporary “holiday,” many consumers don’t remember a time without it. But in this world of identity theft and credit card fraud, security warnings are as commonplace as the annual cyber holiday itself. But what if I told you hackers aren’t in it for your credit card info?

Enter the “Internet of Things”.

From Fitbits and smart thermostats, to connected children’s toys and baby monitors, consumers are actively looking for the latest and greatest technology. Each of these devices are connected via the “Internet of Things,” allowing people to track everything from stairs climbed to monitoring their children in the other room via a smart phone. And Cyber Monday is often where they are finally able to get their hands on this new technology.

The “IoT” business is growing rapidly and we are estimated to have over 34 billion connected devices by 2020. Cyber Monday purchases are only helping to fuel this growth.
But what does this have to do with security?

As connectivity grows, so do our risks. Just last year, Cyber Monday brought us the VTech hack where cybercriminals gained access to the customer database, rife with personal information such as addresses, birth dates and passwords. Not only can such information be a physical threat (think children’s addresses), children are at risk of having their identities stolen without it being discovered for upwards of a decade while they’re still living at home.

On the wearables front, Garmin just recently introduced an activity wearable just for kids that parents can monitor from their smart phones – and connected toys are notorious for lax security.

So what’s the solution?

This holiday season, I challenge you to take a closer look at what is in your shopping cart and remember: any connected device, including wearables, can be hacked and exposed long before the user or manufacturer becomes aware of it.

There is no such thing as a hack-proof device. Anywhere. Ever.

Find out how to protect yourself in my recent Forbes article. http://bit.ly/2fkubPq

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