There are many cool and interesting gadgets on the Internet of Things (IoT), but many of them do not have proper security installed. This creates a problem called “shadow IoT” where users can unknowingly allow hackers to break into corporate networks.
Let’s explore what the shadow Internet is and how you add to the problem.
What is Shadow IoT?
Shadow IoT sounds like an illegal market for smart home appliances, but the reality is a little scarier. It’s when users bring devices into a company’s network without telling anyone about it.
The company needs to know what is connected to their networks. The company needs to protect its assets from security breaches, so they need to monitor connections closely to prevent hackers from gaining access.
Ten or two years ago, this was easy. The corporate network only introduced the workstations around the office, so there was no real fear of bringing in external equipment.
Today, employees often bring their own equipment to the office and connect it to the corporate network. This includes smartphones, personal laptops, fitness monitors and even portable consoles for a break.
Now the network administrator has a bigger problem. People can import devices from outside and connect them to the network without the knowledge of the administrator. This opens the door to attacks from unknown sources.
How bad is the shadow internet problem?
Of course, this threat only applies if employees actually bring equipment into the company’s property. If there is no one, the internet problem of shadows solves itself. So how many devices “creep” into the network without the network administrator knowing?
Let’s look at this Infoblox report ”What is in the shadows in the shadow 2020?. ” The purpose of this report is to find out how many shaded Internet hardware are on a company’s network and in which countries they are most abundant.
The report asked companies from different countries to look for shadow internet devices on their network. On average, 20 percent of these companies found nothing. 46 percent found between 1-20 unknown devices and 29 percent found between 21-50 devices. The small fragment found more than 50 devices using the network that they didn’t know about before.
Why is Shadow IoT a problem?
So why is it bad for employees to bring their own equipment to work? Why are there hidden devices on the network?
The biggest problem is that there is no guarantee that these “hidden” devices will be properly attached. Poorly made internet devices have several security flaws that are ripe for exploitation. As a result, the virus has clicked on any of these devices, it can spread through the network.
Not only that, but these devices often keep the connection open if the user or service wants to use it. The end result is an uncertain device that keeps its doors open for connections; hackers dream.
When an employee places a exploitable device on a corporate network, it creates an access point for the hacker. Hackers always search the internet to find open ports, and if they find an employee’s insecure device, they can try to break into it.
If a hacker manages to gain access to an employee’s device, he or she can use it as a step to launch attacks on the company’s internal network. If this succeeds, the hacker will then be in a strong position to distribute ransomware, use limited information, or cause damage.
Which Internet devices are safe to use?
The big problem with IoT devices is that none of them are really “harmless” to the network. As hackers have shown over time, if it is able to connect to the Internet, it can be hacked no matter how simple the device is.
For example, it’s easy to imagine what a hacker can do with a home CCTV system. However, a smart bulb, like a simple device, must be safe. After all, what can a hacker do with a smart bulb?
As it turns out, they can do quite a bit. A recent study showed that Philips Hue lamps can be used to launch an attack on a home network. As a result, this hacker showed that an Internet device cannot be truly infallible; the world will only find better hackers.
This is not the first time a hacker has exploited an “overly simple hacking” IoT device. The casino suffered a hacking attack in which intruders got their hands on a high-roll database. The hacker’s starting point was aquarium thermometer in the lobby.
There is much more scary internet hacking stories
7 scary objects on the Internet hacked and exploited what really happened
there that show how hackers can take advantage of anything on the internet.
What can you do with Shadow IoT?
The best way to tackle Shadow Internet applications is to ignore Internet madness. While an internet-connected toaster may sound new and fun, it creates a new entry point for hackers to get into your network. As such, it is best to grab “stupid” devices; a hacker will have a harder time hacking a device if it is offline!
If you can’t live without Internet devices, you can put it on mobile data. If your device can’t connect to mobile data, turn your phone into a hotspot and connect your device to it. When you move a device off a corporate network, it is no longer a security threat.
When you’re at home, use a separate network for your IoT devices, keeping your private computers and phones a priority. If you do, your home devices will be safe on your main network from which an Internet hacker cannot access them. You may not need to buy a new router; just create guest network
5 reasons to set up a guest network on your router
and insert your IoT device into it.
If you are an employer or business owner, consider using another network for employees ’phones and devices. If you do this, hackers who infiltrate your employees ’devices will not be able to access your main network, where sensitive information is.
Illuminating the problems of the Internet of shadows
IoT devices can be very dangerous in themselves. When a pair of formatting that is always online consists of faulty security, it creates a hacker’s dream and a Webmaster’s nightmare. Fortunately, you can do your part by keeping your Internet devices away from major networks, whether you’re at work or relaxing at home.
To find out how insecure Internet devices can be, check them out common Internet security issues and fixes
5 General Internet of Things (IoT) security issues and fixes
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