As October winds down, this last week of cybersecurity awareness is focused on the future of connected devices. So, what is the future of connected devices? That’s a great question and honestly, begs a different answer now than it would have if we were at the beginning of 2020. The pandemic has thrust the world into an explosion of technology innovation. According to CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has seen two years' worth of digital transformation in just two months.
We are going to see continued exponential growth in connected devices as a result of the current pandemic. Which in turn has necessitated the increased demand on remote work, and consequently reliable connectivity and the technology to function in such an environment.
Additional information on protecting yourself and your devices can be found in this list of tip sheets and PowerPoint template from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Other relevant resources are available through the National Cyber Security Awareness Month and CISA.
In case you missed the NACo Virtual Fall CIO Forum Series for October, which was on Cybersecurity, you can watch the recording on YouTube.
From a security perspective, this means that the hacking community has a broader landscape of potential vulnerabilities on connected devices like:
- Smart devices
- Mobile phone
- Gaming consoles
- Medical equipment
- Industrial systems
What makes those devices vulnerable? The internet connectivity, the information on those devices, whether the device is Bluetooth enabled and whether those devices are on 24/7 through what we call open or unprotected ports. As employers and consumers, we need to assume that we are vulnerable.
There are cyber security defenses that counties, as well as employees should be implementing. These include securing networks and those wireless routers! Stay up to date on browser versions, operating systems and anti-virus. And finally double your login protection on all your devices, including that mobile phone!
Don’t be the “low-hanging fruit” for the hacking community!