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What Devices Are Under Attack?

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Desktop computer, laptop computer, and tablet sitting on a desk

We’re used to thinking of computers as being under almost constant attack. But in our day, we have to get used to thinking of all sorts of things being internet enabled, and therefore valid targets for an attacker. The term ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) refers to all the various devices that we’ve got attached to our network. Unfortunately, too often we fail to think about these devices as computers.

For example, we’d all probably think of these devices as computers —

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Servers

And many of us would add our mobile devices —

  • Tablets
  • Cell phones

But there are even more devices in our office that are really ‘computers’ and can be hacked —

  • Copiers
  • Printers
  • Routers
  • Firewalls
  • Switches

If we’re running an operational network, the list grows even more (and there are many beyond what I’ve listed here) —

  • Control units
  • RTUs
  • HVAC controllers
  • Door controllers
  • Camera network
  • Cellular modems
  • Remote access devices
  • Specialized equipment
  • Traffic signals
  • Medical devices

Even in our homes, we have lots of potential targets that may be internet enabled or networked —

  • Smart television
  • Thermostats
  • Baby monitor
  • Garage door opener
  • Refrigerator
  • Washer & Dryer
  • Door locks
  • Security system
  • Toaster (yes, I saw an internet enabled toaster!)
  • Car
  • And many more items!

Well, you get the idea. If you have an electronic device that either has an IP address or somehow communicates with another electronic device, then you have something that can potentially be hacked. And if it can potentially be hacked, then it has to be secured.

 

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