OK so we've all left the house in a hurry and started to fret over the electrical device that we may or may not have switched off. In my case it's usually the iron. It's one thing if its a day at work, even worse if you are off on holiday for a week! I generally hope that even if I did have had a momentary lapse in concentration, were it to actually over heat, a fuse would trip and my house would be saved!
So as the Internet of Things starts to gather pace, does this mean we will have a bunch more things to play on our minds when we leave home in a rush?
Last Friday's DDoS attack on Dyn highlighted the fact that any poorly secured device that is connected to the Net could ultimately be purloined by criminals to bring down their target of choice. Since the 'IoT' seems to know bounds, we could end up with all our home appliances one day turning against us if we don't establish some form of order where cyber security is concerned.
As things stand the two most reiterated pieces of advice to consumers and business alike are, use strong passwords and update your software regularly.
Well we know that whilst this is partially adhered to by a few, for the majority it still passes them by. And I do not mean this by way of criticism. So on this premise having to create and remember strong passwords for home appliances is not going to happen. Then compound this by having consumers apply patches as and when vulnerabilities are identified!
Last Friday's attack on Dyn might just be the sort of wake-up call the industry needs.
Maybe the makers of appliances and other consumer friendly devices realise that 'baking' security in is the only viable and cost effective option. Since they have long been required to adhere to electrical safety standards, why not the same for cyber security. And since the makers of such goods are well versed in safety and compliance, maybe the standards they establish will work their way into the applications and devices that we use to run our businesses.
If we fail to learn from the early warning we have witnessed this weekend, there may come a time when we are panicking over the fact that we haven't applied the patch to that new funky, self ordering fridge we just purchased!
Finally, it’s time for consumers to acknowledge they have a role in the attack too. By failing to secure the internet-connected devices, they are endangering not just themselves but the rest of the Internet as well. No one think it’s acceptable for consumers to be clueless when they operate products like automobiles or propane tanks — so why is it okay for them to be careless with routers and security cameras?