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The Internet of Things (IoT) has amazing potential to change our lives. It also has amazing potential to let cybercriminals into your IoT home network.

You have an IoT Home Network if you have a Wi-Fi router (it is an IoT device) as well as any smart device like a security camera, smart speaker/TV/appliance or even your Wi-Fi connected car.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the power to make our lives easier and more convenient. By 2020, there will be more than 20.8 billion Internet-linked consumer devices in homes around the world. These include smart locks, doorbells, cameras, microwaves, home appliances, air conditioning, lights, power management and so much more.

A quick overview of the IoT home network.

The real problem is that escalating use of IoT leads to home network congestion and often gaping security holes.

An unsecured IoT home network is a cybercriminals ‘buffet.’

In 2016, most of America’s East Coast internet went offline because of a botnet. The Mirai malware attack took over more than 2.5 million IoT devices in the home and small business networks up and down the coast.

Since that time, this same malware has hit 100,000 telecommunications customers in the UK and 900,000 in Germany. Because the Mirai botnet uses open source coding, it evolves from attack to attack, and hacker to hacker, staying one step ahead of security experts to permanently eradicate it.

Threats like this raise questions: How is this possible?

What can we do to protect our home networks without giving up the perks of high-tech innovation?

GadgetGuy collaborated with Sam Bocetta, a freelance journalist specialising in U.S. diplomacy and national security, with emphases on technology trends in cyberwarfare, cyberdefense, and cryptography to provide top tips to secure your IoT home network.

IoT Home Network

Security concerns inherent in any IoT Home network

The fast proliferation and increased connectivity of smart home systems in Australia highlight the benefits of IoT home networks – and the potential for problems.

The same issues that make web pages insecure also affect your IoT home network. Most IoT devices run a small web interface to allow internet connection to them.

The Mirai botnet attacks IoT ‘web-servers’ using common logins passwords like admin/admin.

Mirai works because many people never change the factory defaults (and we need these initially to set up the IoT device). Mirai inserts malicious code into vulnerable devices that can spread to every other device on the network.

IoT home network
One day of the 54-hour DDoS outage due to Mirai

On April 23, 2016, the VideoLAN Organization visually recorded a DDoS attack on its servers. Botnets relentlessly attack IoT devices until it finds a weakness – or they move on.

If such attacks confound security experts, how can the average homeowner dream of keeping their system safe?

According to a Symantec study, there was a 600% increase in attacks on IoT networks between 2016 and 2017. Not promising – expect this trend to intensify.

Your five-Sep Plan for IoT Home network security

These strategies are just a starting point for securing IoT home networks. If you have a craving to get next-level serious about preventing hacks of your system, read this report on strategic IoT installation from US Homeland Security.

1- Put your home network security before your convenience

IoT Home Network

Security experts’ shudder at IoT and any device having unfettered access to the internet – it is like unprotected sex.