The Internet of Hackable Things

The Internet of Hackable Things 440 247 CyberVista now N2K

Updated 10/5/2020

CISSP Content Helps Protect Your Home Network

More Convenience, Less Security

Your fitness watch can track your heart rate and then pass that information in real time back to your smart phone. Your doorbell can alert you to who is on your doorstep and allow you to remotely unlock your door. You can ask Google about the weather forecast or the origin of the electoral college, now without even having to reach for your phone.

These “smart” devices are making life more convenient. But, because they are connected to the Internet, they represent a greater and more vulnerable attack surface that can be exploited by hackers. And this threat is only growing in severity with the rise of COVID-19 that has moved more people to work from home.

Researchers recently discovered that hackers now have the ability to swipe data as they infect devices. Consumer IoT devices are especially vulnerable to attack because they were designed with convenience in mind, not security. But just because manufacturers didn’t prioritize security, doesn’t mean that you, as a consumer, can’t take steps to protect the devices and network that are part of your home.

CISSP content offers solutions and best practices to help secure your home, especially when it comes to network security, which is the link between hackers and your devices.

Domain 4: Communication & Network Security

Every wireless network has a unique service set identifier (SSID), which is a naming system used to differentiate between one network and another. Even if you don’t know what an SSID is, you’ve probably seen them when you open your Wi-Fi settings and search for networks: “Starbucks Wi-Fi,” “Free Wi-Fi,” “Get Off my LAN.” When the SSID is publicly broadcasted, anyone (including hackers) can see it. Disabling your SSID is a good way to keep your network private. However, SSID hiding is not a foolproof method; hackers can discover hidden networks with a simple packet sniffing tool. But lowering your profile will make your network a harder target than your neighbor’s.

Another easy network protection method is changing the default usernames and password that come with network devices. Default usernames and passwords are dangerous because hackers can easily find and purchase them on Internet forums or markets. When you have updated the default password, consider using a passphrase (AND, PLEASE, DO NOT WRITE IT DOWN AND TAPE IT TO THE TOP OF YOUR ROUTER).

If you are technically inclined, consider network segmentation. This is when you split network traffic among your devices, effectively isolating certain traffic. This helps prevent hacking across devices. For example, you can use a VLAN switch to isolate your IoT device traffic from your home network that you use for work and other sensitive transactions. In other words, if your smart refrigerator is hacked, it won’t compromise your financial transactions.

Consumers Can Meet Hackers on the Front Line

As you accumulate more and more IoT devices, the amount of risk you introduce into your home increases. Becoming a Luddite and banishing technology from your home is not a realistic solution, as tempting as it may be these days. But what you can do is make hacking harder for hackers. A great place to start, as Domain 4 recognizes, is with your wireless network.

Learn the Material by Learning Its Real World Implication

Tying CISSP concepts to real-world, prevalent security issues is a feature of CyberVista’s CISSP Live Online course. This linking makes the content relevant, useful, and easier to remember. Learn more about CyberVista’s prep course here.