Users to Secure routers from Internet of Things (IoT) takedowns

Many people have little to no understanding of how many devices in their house are now interconnected. This leaves us surrounded by things that are effectively web-enabled computers, which most people don’t even know need to be secured.

The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming a reality, thanks to the machine-to-machine communication (M2M) technology, as the number of connected devices is forecast to reach 50 billion units worldwide by 2020.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) fourth quarter report for 2015-2016, notes that Kenya has about 10.8 million broadband internet subscriptions.  As technology advances, Kenyans are now adopting and buying vastly interconnected devices for the home, enticed by the prospects of IoT.

This calls for internet security measures to help secure the devices and to decrease the chances of their being used for ill.

Internet broadband routers act as the gateways to whichever ISP network a user subscribes to and are necessary for successful signal distribution, making them attractive targets for cyber-criminals.

For instance, More than 900,000 customers of German ISP Deutsche Telekom (DT) were knocked offline in November after their Internet routers got infected by a new variant of a computer worm known as Mirai.. Security experts said the multi-day outage is a sign of things to come as cyber criminals continue to aggressively scour the Internet of Things (IoT) for vulnerable and poorly-secured routers, Internet-connected cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs).

Ensuring that the router is well configured and not relying on the default manufacturer settings such as usernames and passwords can help curb this menace. Users can as well disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), turn off remote management, change the name of their access point and update the software on their routers and IoT devices.

By tightening up the settings on the router, users help protect all of the connected devices at home.

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