Is your router vulnerable?
We update our computers and software regularly to protect us from vulnerabilities and keep our systems safe. We use antivirus and antimalware solutions to go a step further (if you don’t, you should read about the importance of anti-virus software in our past post on malware, and make sure to regularly perform all systems updates). With the speed that technology is progressing, it’s not uncommon for most of your home to now have the potential to go online. It’s called the internet of things (IoT), and it’s becoming more and more common. Is your printer talking to your lightbulbs or fridge? It’s entirely possible.
What’s almost certain is that you’re not patching the software/hardware in your fridge with security updates. Unfortunately, your fridge manufacturer probably isn’t bothering to produce patches. That’s not good, because it’s leaving your network vulnerable — and this time, your network interacts with your physical world.
What can you do?
The first step to keeping your Internet of Things secure is to ensure you’ve got a strong perimeter. Lots of people buy a router, install it and forget it. You might turn it off and on again when the internet gets slow, but that’s probably about it. What you might not be aware of is that vulnerabilities have been found in many popular routers from a variety of manufacturers. Someone could take over your router and gain access to your network and by extension, your fridge (or baby monitor).
The solution is to keep your router up to date with the latest patches. Below I’ve included some links to the most common manufacturers. If yours isn’t listed here, you can find it online by searching the brand name and “update router” in your search engine.
This isn’t guaranteed to keep you safe, but security is like swiss cheese — full of holes.
If you have many layers of security, eventually you’ll find that there are no holes that go all the way through. Good luck.
Router Patch Instructions: