My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data

My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data

Help! My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data

and

Sold It to The Highest Bidder

 

Help! My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data

Help!  My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data, and Sold It to The Highest Bidder! Obviously, this is “the Dog Ate My Homework”`
version of modern day online privacy in the world of IoT. However, privacy threats due to unintentional breaches increase constantly. And, so do intentional breaches. Smartphones have become a major security concern. Laptops must contain internal and external security. The internet may well be the world’s most dangerous place. And IoT involves all of it.

 

Protecting Client and Company Data Is Everyone’s Responsibility

To begin with, this topic ” Help! My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data”, applies to all businesses. Second, it applies to businesses from home offices to giant corporations. All businesses gather people’s information. Accordingly, all bear responsibility for securing that information. Vulnerable businesses include the following.

  • A one person sole proprietor
  • Home-based business
  • Home based content marketing or a copywriting office
  • Home-based travel agent
  • Small Business
  • Medium Sized business
  • Mega corporation

Obviously, that pretty much covers any business. Does your business have a security plan? Does your home office have a security plan? Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Especially with data security.

 

Data Privacy is a Legal Responsibility

Consequently, it is your legal responsibility to protect yourself, your company and your client data due to theft. As well, this includes cyber-theft. So, the concept of Help! My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data even applies to mega corporations. Consider the refrigerator in the company break room. Or, perhaps the microwave.

Additionally, data loss occurs due to the increase of employee-owned devices. And this increases with each new device. In addition, there’s an increasing risk of accidental data leak through apps and services like email and social media. And of course, this includes the public cloud outside of your control. The risks are real. The solutions tenable. Moreover, you must deal with it sooner than later.

What is IoT

IoT is simply the abbreviation for the “Internet of Things”. IoT is the Jetsons version of modern society. Everything is connected to everything. While some hail it as the next big thing, many others see it as a dangerous threat to humanity. Think “HAL” of the old movie “A 2001 Space Odyssey. These are scary times.

HTG Explains: What is the Internet Of Things? According to How To Geek, “The Internet of Things refers to more devices, objects, and even living beings — people, plants, and animals — being given unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data without human interaction.”….The Internet of things refers to networking all these different types of “things.” This includes everything from smart appliances to health implants that can communicate over a network.”

 

Internet already made up of things

Obviously, it is true that most of the data on the Internet comes from human beings. At least at the present time. However, that is changing rapidly. Furthermore, IoT devices need little to no human intervention. IoT allows for your devices and sensors connected to a network to communicate without human interaction. Including over the Internet! Recently Facebook announced the shutdown of its AI project. Why? The AI bots learned how to speak their own language. They were communicating in a way humans could not understand.

The Internet of things refers to networking all these different types of “things.” Smart appliances, health implants, even plants can communicate without human intervention.

 

Unsecure Appliances Connected In The Home

We already have smart devices communicating without us. Cyber-Criminals seem to always be one step ahead. As well, they can hack these devices without you knowing it. For instance,  when you walk by your refrigerator carrying your smartphone full of client data. Zap. A cyber-hacker steals everything on your phone. And without you knowing it! Then you will say:  Help! My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data and Sold It to The Highest Bidder! Furthermore, it won’t just be your refrigerator. it includes:

  • smart appliances
  • lights
  • Nest thermostats
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers and Dryers

Previously, these devices could not talk to each other. They were not “connected”. Iot will make them “smart”, and networked. Also, IoT would let them talk to each other and coordinate with each other without us! To me, it is truly scary that “things” communicate with each other. And worse,they do so without understanding by humans. Obviously, we need a new understanding of how to deal with this enormous threat to privacy. Moreover, a whole new model for security must be developed and put into place. And, this must happen before we go forward with the Internet of things. However, I believe the danger already exists. Do you? We need a serious discussion. So, let’s talk about it.

 

Security At Home

Home based business have very serious concerns regarding data privacy and the IoT.  Home security systems are already implicated in data theft. And we have all heard the stories about Roku listening in on and recording everything people say. The one area that is most obvious, is also the least secure. Our Home WIFI routers.  Router manufacturers have failed  repeatedly to provide true security.  For instance, as I discovered, the backdoor in a D-Link router or an Asus router sharing your private files with everyone on the Internet. Trust is no longer an option. you must trust but verify. In fact, I don’t trust at all when it comes to IoT devices. So, beware of IoT! I certainly am aware!

 

WiFi – Hidden Dangers

Computing Now made this observation 

“Home-Based Wireless Routers Notoriously Insecure”

“Security experts conclude there are so many potential vulnerabilities in home-based wireless routers that it is best to consider them insecure. The issues came to light following the discovery of problems with Linksys routers, which enabled TheMoon worm to infect and thrive on the home hardware. Security researchers found these types of products are shipped with several other bugs that make them open to infection, according to SANS Institute Internet Storm Center researchers Kyle Lovett and Matt Claunch. This includes home routers from Linksys, Cisco and Netgear.”

And the Problem gets worse

“Compounding the problem is most consumers don’t know how to properly protect these networks, through which personal and financial information can be sent. In addition to wireless routers, security experts say home networking devices are particularly vulnerable through the Universal Plug and Play protocol. Independent Security Evaluators, a security firm, identified 55 new and undisclosed vulnerabilities in home routers, which led its analysts to conclude few, if any, home routers could be properly secured. (SlashDot)(Symantec Security Focus)(SANS Institute Internet Storm Center)”

 

Summary

To sum up, data security is everyone’s responsibility. In other words, from the lowest to the highest level of employees. Similarly, anyone who deals with other people’s information is responsible. Moreover, size does not matter. As well, whether a home based business, or a mega corporation, you bear legal responsibility for the safekeeping of data you obtain from others. Moreover, you absolutely must have a sound security plan. And you must stick to that plan if you collect information on others. As a matter of fact, the FTC advises to “collect only what you need, keep it safe, and dispose of it securely. Certainly, this can help you meet your legal obligations to protect that sensitive data.”  The FTC has many free resources available for businesses of all sizes.

Lastly, we want to hear from you. So, do you have concerns about IoT? Or, do you have an informed comment you would like to make? Tell us in the comments section below. Keep it brief and respectable. Especially, we want to know if you liked “Help! My Refrigerator Stole My Client’s Data.  Write to us!

About The Author

Rick Stoneking Sr. A retired, disabled, veteran, minister. He’s now Founder/Owner/CEO of International Publishing Group, LLC, International Travel Reviews™ a division of IPG, and The International Travel Herald™ Travel Magazine. As a former federal agent and security consultant well versed in cyber security management, he writes on topics such as this. Rick also has training in Logistics fraud. He also is a Klout recognized expert. Write to Rick using the comment form below.

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