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Internet of Things, IoT, The Things Network, What is Internet? and Internet de las Cosas.

 

Internet of Things, IoT, The Things Network, What is Internet? and Internet de las Cosas.

By | Network Security

IoT Devices and Default PasswordWhat is Internet of Things (IoT)?

All these words mean the same thing. You are probably curious what they are and how they may affect you.  The Internet of Things (IoT), The Things Network, Internet de las Cosas (for those Spanish speakers) and What is Internet are commonly searched terms or phrases on Google from people who want to know what they are and the meaning of IoT. Your devices (surveillance cameras – CCTV, alarm systems, appliances that are IP-enabled, cars equipped with Internet, home apparatuses that aim to make your life easier by allowing you to remote control your home heater from an app on your cellular phone, for example; voice recognition devices such as Alexa, the Dash button on Amazon, and your mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, Androids, etc.) all basically have internet connectivity. How does the technology affect you? Remember, most manufacturers ship devices and appliances with default settings because they mass produce them with the same settings.

For example, device from manufacturer A may has the default password set to serial x. The systems are pre-programmed to generate serials numbers assigned to the device, and, accordingly, they ship the device with instruction stickers that say to use serial X as the password. This is fine and makes it simple for end users to access and get their systems up and working. However, this doesn’t secure the device from users outside your domain. It is not the job of manufacturers to help you secure the network. Otherwise, they would spend countless hours customizing these systems and would not be able to quickly ship them to fill demand.

If you want to avoid intruders, you need to secure your devices by configuring a firewall, only allowing certain protocols and ports needed to run the appliance. Depending on the device, you may want to segment the traffic, so they are completely segregated from the rest of your other networks, especially valuable for industrial businesses that have highly-sensitive data and traffic on their networks. If you have surveillance cameras running, they are likely completely isolated from the rest of the corporate network. Why? Because surveillance cameras are serving public users and are connected on the outside, even noticeable to public eyes. They are easy targets and attackers become curious to see if these cameras are hackable and may attempt to gain access. If the hackers are able to gain access to this part of the network, they will be able to gain access to any part of the network connected.

If you just bought any devices that is IP-enabled, and you’re able to access it from the Internet, make sure it is secure. Look for changes to the default username, password, or IP address and limit public access by using a firewall. In other words, make it completely isolated from any critical data on your network and/or at home.

The number of Internet of Things, IoT or Internet De las Cosas devices are increasing yearly. The number of connected devices surpasses billions and will reach around 29 billion by 2022. This is why internet providers are already deploying IPv6 on these devices.

Another important example, especially for healthcare providers and healthcare patients, is the fact that health information is now accessible from mobile apps and online. Regulations are in place such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that require data to be secure if any individual’s personal information is transmitted. One way for healthcare providers and businesses to insure such data is with Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE). You can read more here at: https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/security/medical-nac-white-paper.pdf.

If you have IoT devices on your network and are not sure if it is secure, at Accend Networks, we can provide a risk assessment by thoroughly scanning it. We will provide a detailed report from outside your network and let you know if vulnerabilities exist and the solutions to fix them. Having a third-party provider can help you look at things of which you are not yet aware. Even if you think you have secured your network, and if you organization is one that requires compliance by law, we have the tools to help you.

Below are a sample of items we can assist you identify on your network:

This is but one example. Contact us today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a free consultation.

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Ethical Shopping


By | Network Security

Ethical Shopping

Ok, you’ve asked for it.  What is ethical shopping?  It can mean different things to different people, depending on their point of view.

In terms of shopping online or in an actual store, you want to make sure that the business you’re dealing with is ethical and not lying to the public in terms of prices, promotions, or other sales ticket items.  It can also mean that businesses might be inflating their books so that the company value looks much better than it is.  This can help more sales but the facts and figures aren’t correct.  You may see this in stocks prices where a company inflates its financial statements to attract more investors hoping to sell more equity shares.  A company like this is not being ethical, so they clearly are not a good business to work with.

Ethical shopping is involved when a buyer or shopper looks for businesses that have demonstrated social responsibility, ethical business practices, and sustainability.  They may only work with businesses and suppliers that promote and provide sustainable energy or offer energy-efficient products.  Their products may have ratings and labels such as Energy Saving Trust or Cisco EnergyWise devices.

Cisco EnergyWise, for example, helps reduce costs and increase operational efficiency while optimizing greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions and complying with government directives.

The products help to save power by decreasing consumption 50 percent, for example by switching off access points radios on a user-defined schedule using Adaptive Power Management for Cisco Arionet Access Points.  Another example might be to restrict power usage of unused or idle slots and implement more effective PoE monitoring and management with the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series switches.  The energy bill you get at the end of the month will be less costly as a result because these devices do not have power when they are idle and not being used.

Other industries offer different alternatives for energy, such as First Solar or Solar City that specializes in solar energy and provides renewable energy from the sun.

All these types of ethical shopping behavior show that vigilant companies are acting in good faith and not concealing information to outsiders. Likewise, included are companies providing good products and services that help save on energy cost or offer a more natural form of byproduct.

Having a good ethical shopping mentality affects both the consumers and suppliers who are acting according to the best principles.  It takes both sides to achieve the same goal of having good business practices.  No one wants to do business with a deceptive party; an ethical person would rather do business with an organization that provides some value to its products and services.

If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned this article, free to contact us; we’ll be glad to address your questions.

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