In many cases, once a Wireless router has been installed, we find a place in our home or small business for it and forget about it. As long as the devices are set up and connected via the Wi-fi network, there is little to no administration and monitoring done to the router or the IoT devices connected to the router. Since the routers and IoT devices are not routinely monitored they are prone to exploits by cybercriminals who can sneak into our devices and get access to our system.
The inherent risks of not monitoring the network and IoT devices is that criminals and hackers have access to the network router and IoT devices and are using these for malicious activity to your individual or small business network or worse leveraging these as part of broad cyber DDoS type attacks.
Here are some key steps that you can take to protect your home and small business networks:
- Always change the default device name for routers and IoT devices
Changing your router’s or devices default name makes it harder for malicious attackers to know what type of device it is. If a cybercriminal knows the manufacturer name of router or IoT device they will know what vulnerabilities that model has and then try to exploit them.
- Change the default settings including passwords.
- Enable encryption standards for all transmission methods
- Ensure constant maintenance on these devices that are not actively used by doing the following:
- Remember to always keep your devices up to date with the most recent software available;
- Always apply the latest security patches to ensure no security hole is left open to malicious actors.
- check which devices connect most often to your home network and make sure they have antivirus and/or an anti-malware security software installed.
- Make sure to protect your devices using multiple security layers consisting of specialized security software such as updated antivirus programs and traffic filtering software.