Erik Giesa profile picture

Erik Giesa

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cybersecurity Journalist at HackRead, Waqas Amir said it best, “The Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed the way we use everyday objects such as appliances, thermometers, and even lighting”. IoT is increasing in popularity as it is implemented in more businesses and households every day. Unfortunately, the easier IoT devices make our day-to-day lives, the easier it gets for hackers to perform a potentially devastating breach.

When IoT devices are connected via a flat Layer 2 network, all bets are off. These devices leave the network exposed, and hackers are able to get in through the vulnerable device in order to access sensitive data across the network.

This fact is a bitter truth to Target, who suffered an attack of this nature during the widely-publicized breach of 2013. Hackers stole the payment card info of 41 million customers after infiltrating the network through the exposed HVAC system, costing the corporate giant $18.5 million in damages.

While hacks of large companies such as Target dominate media coverage, they certainly aren’t the only ones suffering from these kinds of attacks. According to data from Altman Vilandrie & Company, “Nearly half of U.S. firms using an Internet of Things (IoT) network have been hit by a recent security breach”. In fact, a North American Casino was recently hacked through their fish tank!

Something as mundane as a fish tank might not seem like a risk but when connected to an IoT device such as a smart thermometer, like this casino tank was, all bets are off.

While the thermometer was only intended to track the temperature of the water, its connection to the flat network made it an enticing target for hackers. By compromising the IoT device they hit the jackpot – gaining access to the casino’s database of high-rollers.

In this case, the casino has remained anonymous, but with the rise of IoT any casino may be at risk for a similar attack. Whether or not your network is next shouldn’t be left to the luck of the draw! If you’re using smart devices, you need to get smart with your network too. Had this casino implemented Identity Defined Networking (IDN) with Tempered Networks, their sensitive data would have been protected.

IDN allows casinos and other IoT connected businesses to cloak and segment their network, so that access to a fish tank doesn’t result in access to customer information.

The cost of a breach is high, so don’t gamble with sensitive data. Contact us to learn how to make a sure bet with Identity Defined Networking.