There was once a time when a refrigerator with a screen on the front or a robotic vacuum cleaner was just a concept. A few companies produced products in this league, however, they didn’t really hit the mainstream. Until recently. The wave is called the Internet of Things, and it is the term given to appliances which, previously performed a basic role around your home, which has now been connected to a network.
The basic nature of their task has led the majority of owners to simply install these devices in a set-and-forget manner, simply plugging them in and letting them do their work. Unfortunately, this is the exact behavior which enables widespread internet attacks known as DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service).
How Does It Work?
Inside each of these smart devices which you have in your home is a small operating system. It may be one familiar to you and it may be a basic system written by the manufacturer. This operating system controls what the device does and how it interacts on the internet.
Due to the mass appeal of these devices, many manufacturers are producing these gadgets without properly securing their operating systems. This leads to access points where a hacker is able to take over control of the device. In this case, your refrigerator, office photocopier, and even your security cameras.
However, the purpose of this attack isn’t to burn your toast or defrost your freezer. Instead, hackers use their control to direct each of these devices to contact a website. Often, the website is a company or service which the hacker does not like.
While one request from a device to a website is fine, when a hacker is able to take over hundreds of thousands of devices similar to the ones in your home, then they are able to control and request that all of these devices visit the same website at the same time.
As you can imagine, every website has a limit as to how many page requests it can handle before it crashes. Which is the ultimate goal for the hacker.
How Can You Protect Your Business and the Devices on Your Network?
The easiest way to protect your computers, your network, and your devices from being targeted by such an attack is with high-quality virus and scam protection, like the products available on the Groupon Coupons page for Kaspersky. These products work to protect your infrastructure and your employees.
Once you have this method in place, it’s important that you and your office management team keep your software up to date so that it can continue to protect you from attacks. This should be done in addition to monitoring the updates for the software available in your individual IoT devices.
While DDOS attacks aren’t common, they are very real and are easily executed by somebody who knows what they are doing. With this in mind, even if your website isn’t the target, don’t let the computers and devices on your network become their slaves, and keep your infrastructure protected.