Unlike the popular fiction TV series, the horrors of internet-connected things are all too real.
These devices - collectively called the internet of things (IoT) - currently command a market of around $50 billion USD and are expected to grow to around $140 billion USD by 2025. For perspective, this projection is larger than the gross domestic product of Hungary.
But neither the market size nor number of devices are as intimidating as what the internet-connected devices can do. Their features range from the terrifying to the ridiculous:
Terrifying: Internet-connected baby monitors, CCTV cameras streaming live from bars and swimming pools
All fun aside, the security implications of misconfigured or improperly-secured devices is not just invasion of privacy, but can include the loss of money (if attackers hold devices for ransom) and even potential blackmail (if attackers obtain compromising video footage).
It is important that each potential IoT device purchase comes with an equal and opposite security review. If your device comes with default passwords, make sure to change them immediately to something only you know. If your device requires frequent firmware updates, make sure to set a reminder to check back and install them. When in doubt, ask!
Your vigilance could mean the difference between (the internet of) ‘Stranger things’ and the ‘Grills have Eyes.’ Maybe ‘Night of the Living Devices?’ You catch my drift.