Of all the benefits of modern technology, “smart” devices may offer some of the best. Depending on your budget and lifestyle, nowadays you can have pretty much any device connected to not only each other but the internet, too.
With that, regular household appliances can do even more than once imagined. But now that your fridge can tell you when it’s running low on things you cannot imagine life without it, right?
OK, maybe you don’t have a self-aware fridge just yet, but in time it’s likely every device in the home and office will in some way go online. While that ability does plenty to make them more useful and convenient, it also opens them — and us — up to being hacked.
It was a fishy situation
Turns out, even a place that you would assume would take every security measure possible ended up becoming a victim. As Nicole Eagan, who is the CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace relayed to a Wall Street Journal panel, hackers took aim at a casino.
How did they get in? Well, through a thermometer in a fish tank, of course.
Now, we are a bit light on specific details. Eagan did not share which casino was hacked nor when exactly it happened. What she did say was that the intrusion led to the hackers getting access to the casino’s high-roller database.
She did not say what, exactly, was taken, but the point was made. Even a casino, with plenty of security and an understanding that privacy is key, could be broken into, virtually.
You can’t totally secure everything, right?
The issue is not so much carelessness by the casino as much as you just don’t look at things like fish tank thermometers as gateways for criminals. Yet, things like that, as well as cameras, thermostats, air conditioning systems or other appliance-type devices, could certainly be a doorway if they are connected to a massive network as well as the cloud or, in this case, what is known as “the internet of things.”
In short, the internet of things is a term that covers pretty much every household object or device that can go online to send and receive data. As those kinds of gadgets become more prominent and widespread, assuming they don’t become more secure, you can expect hackers to look their way to pry into people’s lives and accounts.
So here’s what you can do
Until most homes and buildings are filled with smart devices, issues like this will be less of an issue. However, as technology and life are trending that direction, what is not a problem now will likely be one in the future.
Because of that, it will be imperative that manufacturers create ways to keep their devices secure. From there, it will be up to us to set our systems up with an eye toward security, too.
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