Big Data Needs Big Security: Don’t Let IoT Become Internet of Threats
IoT, or the “Internet of Things,” is becoming increasingly popular across the world. In 2020, there were 8.74 billion internet-connected devices, and that number is expected to almost triple by 2030.
However, all of these connected devices collect a lot of data. This data is often used for marketing purposes — and less savory reasons as well. Criminals who access your devices can steal your identity, money, and more.
How can you keep yourself secure? It’s important to invest just as much in security as you do in devices. Here’s what you need to know.
What is “Big Data”?
You’ve probably heard the term “big data” thrown around online or even in business meetings. What is “big data,” and why is it so important?
Big data refers to the vast amount of information gathered about individuals every day. Almost everything online is tracked, and many businesses use this information to deliver targeted advertising, understand their customers, and improve their sales.
Because there’s so much information, it is notoriously difficult to find relevant information among all the noise. There are a variety of software solutions that are aimed at helping companies do exactly that, however.
Unfortunately, big data can also be exploited by criminals. Because many people don’t protect their information online or when using internet-connected devices, information may fall into the hands of thieves.
What is The Internet of Things (IoT)?
IoT refers to the various internet-connected devices that we use in our daily lives. There are so many different items now that it can be hard to keep track of. The main thing to keep in mind is that all of these systems collect data about you, and all of them are vulnerable to criminals.
Here are some examples of IoT:
- Connected appliances
- Smart home security systems
- Wearable health trackers
- Smart home devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home
- Smart thermostats you can adjust from your phone
- Smart parking systems used in major cities
- Business applications that allow for real-time tracking of materials
As you can see, almost everyone uses IoT daily. The key is to ensure you’re using proper security to protect your data and keep yourself safe from hackers.
Why You Might Be Vulnerable to Attacks
The primary reason people are vulnerable to attacks from thieves and hackers is that they aren’t aware of how big data and IoT work. People are happy to use the technology but don’t understand how much information is being collected and sold.
You Are Now the Product
Being able to use data to target advertising is big business today. Ethical sellers of this information generally include you in larger groups of similar people, and the data is made anonymous to ensure no individual can be identified.
However, hackers can use your various devices to detect what you, specifically, do. This information is much more valuable than a group of anonymous users. Specific individual details can be sold for a lot of money, which gives hackers a lot of incentive.
The Business of Identity Theft
Pretending to be someone else used to be difficult, as you needed to look and act like them in person. Not anymore. All you need is a bit of personal information, and suddenly businesses across the internet think you’re someone else.
Hackers may steal your personal information to use for their own gain, but more often they steal it to sell it to other thieves. Those criminals then open accounts in your name, get credit using your record, and even make major purchases with your bank accounts.
Once you realize it’s happened, you have to contact everyone, prove the theft, and clean up the mess. The criminal is rarely caught or charged. As you can see, protecting your personal information is essential.
Breaching One Device Opens Up a World of Criminal Opportunity
If a hacker can breach a single device, they can often get information that helps them hack other similar IoT devices in the future. This improves their criminal enterprise and may give them access to an entire connected structure.
For instance, breaching a business’s smart inventory control may not be that interesting to a hacker. Still, it could give them access to an entire network of business networking systems that companies use to communicate every day. That network is extremely valuable, so the initial hack is worthwhile.
The same is true for your home systems. If your smart home security system is connected to a neighborhood network, a breach of your device can make every home on the network vulnerable to thieves.
Are You Secure?
Do you put as much attention into securing your devices as you do into using them? If not, you’re vulnerable to attacks. Your lack of security also puts others at risk.
It’s essential to have appropriate device and network security in today’s big data and IoT era. If you’re not sure that your security is up to the task, we can help. We have a variety of solutions that can help you keep your home and business safe from hackers.
Contact us to learn more! Interested in knowing more about IT plans and what it would entail for your business? We offer a free network check for your business.