Q: Today I would like to talk about the IoT… the Internet of Things.
A: That’s an interesting and timely topic. What kind of things do you have attached to your internet?

Q: Well I have a thermostat, and a doorbell/camera. How about you?
A: I have a network router, a thermostat, a couple of access points, a smart TV, cell phones, laptops, PCs, DVR, a set top box.

Q: No refrigerator yet. That sounds like a lot of things.
A: These are just the common things you will find around the house. When you get into business you get a lot more items that are involved with networking and possibly system control and data acquisition. I can even think of medical devices that use the internet for wireless monitoring and control of bodily functions. And then there are automotive applications…

Q: What can I say? They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere. I have to believe that all these devices also can have a lot of security exposures.
A: You hit the nail on the head. Security exposures from IoT devices are some of the largest threats to the internet in the coming years. It’s going to require attention from everyone from device designers, device users and technical support people like PC Applications.

Q: I can certainly see where device designers are going to have to be very careful with their designs. Are there things that device users can do to protect their equipment and their data?
A: Yes, end users can periodically look for and apply firmware and software updates to their devices. In some cases, they can set the devices to automatically check for and apply updates. Users can also make sure that the login names and passwords are changed from the defaults so that Jane Hacker can’t get into the devices. End users can also use strong passwords which they record in a password safe.

Q: But Charlie, I don’t know how to update the firmware on my router. I barely know how to run updates on my Windows PC. Is this where the tech support people come in?
A: You’re right. While we are not familiar with a lot of the things you have connected to the internet, we at PC Applications can work with your routers and PCs to ensure that they have the latest firmware applied and have strong anti-malware software in place. If you need help ensuring that your home or business network is secure give us a call at PC Applications. That’s Charlie Brown at PC Applications, 533-6510 or contact us through our web site PCAPP.com