IoT Federal Rating

IoT Federal RatingThe Federal Government is taking steps to assign Internet of Things (IoT) devices a security rating similar to how they give Energy Star Ratings to energy-efficient products. IoT devices are any “smart” devices that can connect to the internet and interact with apps or other devices. Read our blog post on IoT devices here. These types of devices in the home are increasing rapidly. Everything from refrigerators to thermostats and door locks can be connected to the internet and are subject to security compromises.

The security of IoT devices is particularly timely now because of the rise of DDoS attacks we have seen over the past few weeks. Compromised IoT devices are commonly used to create botnets that can be weaponized and pointed at websites or businesses to disrupt traffic and take down services temporarily, like we saw fifteen airports deal with last week. Securing IoT devices is the first step in making the devices unavailable to criminals looking to weaponize devices.

Many devices are sold with a default password to help users with setup. The instructions typically tell consumers to change the password, but few follow the steps needed to secure the device. Leaving the default password opens the device up to multiple compromises. In the case of a camera, the criminal could view or control the device. In the case of a router, the compromised device could serve as a jumping-off point for criminals to explore the network looking for personal or financial information. Lastly, as cited above, the compromised device could be added to a botnet and used to attack other businesses or websites.

The Federal rating would help consumers choose more secure devices that have passed the credentials needed for approval. The Federal label would seek to secure IoT home cameras and routers first to secure the most critical and at-risk devices.

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Posted by Charles Wright