We’re sure you’ve already heard a lot about the internet of things or IoT networks. IoT has secured a lot of buzz in the last couple of years, and its popularity is only expected to grow in the coming years. These networks consist of multiple devices connected and communicating with each other.
Even though these are effective and make our lives so much easier to live, recent studies have concluded that these networks suffer from certain security vulnerabilities. The same studies also mention that instead of individual devices being unsecure, the vulnerabilities lie in the systemsand stem from the lack of basic security controls.
So, in this blog, instead of going through ways to fix security issues in individual devices, we’re going to talk about some steps that anyone can take to elevate the overall security of a system to minimize the threats and impact of attempted attacks.
Before we began getting into things we all can do to levelup security around our networks—any networks, here is a rundown of how networks of devices or IoT networks work.
- Devices in a network need to be connected to the internet to communicate with each other.
- Your Wi-Fi routers broadcasts signals throughout your home within a particular range.
- Your router directs traffic in and out of your network.
- Routers also connect multiple devices with each other
- Routers can also be set up with unique passwords to limit access and increase security.
A 6-step plan to stop hackers from invading your network
When routers are correctly configured and set up correctly, they can ensure that hackers and snoopers stay out of your networks. But if they aren’t, they are easy to attack. Now that you have a working knowledge of how networks and systems of devices connected work, let’s talk about protecting them.
Step 1: Open your router configuration centre
First and foremost, to check if your router is configured correctly, open your browser and type in “192.168.1.1.” This is the default IP address used by most routers. Many routers even use 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.2.1. if this doesn’t work, try following an online guide on finding your router’s IP address and going with that!
Step 2: Use default credentials to log in
In most cases, your internet service provider will give you the default credentials. If they, didn’t you can easily find them in your router handbook. Once you know your default credentials, use them to log in to your router.
If you can’t find the default login credentials to your router, simply run a Google search of your router, and the default username and password should be easy to find.
Step 3: A word on the default password
Now, before you tamper with anything else, you’ll need to change this password. According to research, around 80% of all security breaches occur because of weak passwords. Default credentials for many routers are available online, and passwords like birthdays are easy to guess, making them a poor choice if you’re looking to protect your system.
Step 4: Go ahead and disable any IP-directed broadcasts
Routers are robots who comply—no matter how they are receiving orders from. Go through your router’s documentation manual for instructions on how to disable IP -directed broadcasts. In the case of Cisco routers, the command “Central(config)#no ip source-route” will disable IP-directed broadcasts.
Step5: Block ICMP ping requests
Ping requests are essentially used to identify active hosts. This is why hackers use thesebefore they attempt to carry out planned and coordinated attacks to identify active systems. Disabling or blocking ping requests will let your system pass over as unattended, and any possible hackers will be less likely to proceed with the attack.
Step6: Disable IP source routing
IP source routing allows a host to define the route of a data packet through the network instead of relying on the network components to work out the path. Even though this seems like an attractive feature, it only ever comes in handy when you’re looking to troubleshoot connections.
Apart from this, this can be a dangerous feature that can let hackers infiltrate your system by helping them locate backdoors; unless you’re sure that you’ll need the troubleshooting feature for frequent use, it’s best to disable IP source routing.
Even though these steps are simple and don’t require any fancy software or tools, they are practical and can make sure that your router is functioning in a much more security-efficient manner and is keeping your system safe from prying eyes.
If you’re looking for a one-stepsolution to your network security woes, use a VPN (on your desktop or use a vpn extension firefox)! These are powerful tools that will hide your IP addresses and let you browse the internet anonymously and privately, keeping hackers and snoopers out of your network.