What’s not to love about the Internet of Things? Toilet paper roll holders that email or text you when you’re out of TP before you’re stuck in the bathroom. Egg trays that that let you know how many eggs you have and if any have gone bad before you’re home from the store. A water bottle that keeps track of your drinking (of water, presumably, but hey we’re not judging). Unfortunately, with fancy new technology comes new opportunities for black hats to exploit. We here at Frontier IT in Colorado Springs review five times that IoT failed business owners miserably — and offer some advice to business owners on safe IoT usage.

Hospira: In 2015, Hospira, a hospital drug pump manufacturer, was informed that firmware security vulnerabilities could enable hackers to remotely delivery fatal doses of drugs to patients, according to ZDNet. In a statement, a company spokesperson said it had “communicated with customers on how to address the vulnerabilities” and was working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Homeland Security regarding “reported vulnerabilities,” ZDNet reported.

Jeep: In 2015, two security researchers “forever altered the automobile industry’s notion of ‘vehicle safety’ … when they demonstrated … that they could remotely hack a 2014 Jeep Cherokee to disable its transmission and brakes,” according to WIRED. Manufacturer Fiat Chrysler had no choice but to recall 1.4 million vehicles and mail out USB drives containing patches for its vulnerable infotainment system.

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CloudPet: This year a security researcher discovered that the data of CloudPet users can be stolen “due to the company running its production code in a public and unsecured MongoDB database,” according to Computer World UK. While Computer World UK reported that the names and voice recordings of untold children using this smart teddy bear were at risk, the manufacturer’s CEO denied that voice recordings were stolen and downplayed the issue, Computer World UK reported.

Samsung: In 2015, hackers found a way to steal the Gmail usernames and passwords of Samsung’s smart fridge users via a vulnerability in a process that allowed the fridge to access users’ Google calendars, according to The Register. “The model of the vulnerable refrigerator is RF28HMELBSR, which will set you back a cool $3,599, and possibly whatever sensitive information can be accessed from the Google account you end up linking to it,” Geek.com reported. On last report, Samsung was looking into the matter.

VTech: In 2015, popular educational children’s electronics manufacturer VTech announced that its app store database had been hacked, potentially exposing the first names, genders and birthdays of hundreds of thousands of children who used its smart watches and tablets, according to ZDNet. Additionally, hackers stole children’s profile pictures, audio files and chat logs. “It’s unclear exactly why VTech was storing the data itself in the first place,” ZDNet reported.

Whether you invent and manufacturer IoT tech or simply uses it to help operations run more smoothly, ensuring these devices are secure is key to your business’ success and it’s future. Keeping your personal computer secure can be complex enough, no less your business’ computers and more nuanced smart devices. What’s a time-pressed business owner to do? Contact a managed service provider, or MSP, that offers the tech services your business needs — like consulting, help desk support and server/network monitoring — in an affordable, à la carte fashion …

… leaving you more time to do what you do best: be brilliant at business.

Curious if a partnership with an MSP is right for your business? Give us a call today.

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