How to Secure Your IoT Devices with a VPN

The minute you connect to the internet, the less secure your device becomes.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of connected devices that exchange data. They often have unique identifiers and do not need human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Once you connect to the internet with your smartphone or computer, security lessens. This quickly puts your work and personal information at risk.

IoT devices are prone to cyber-attacks, which can cause significant damage. Safety must become a top priority in keeping your device's documentation safe.

Your primary goal is to prevent your information from falling into the wrong hands.

Reviewing some common security threats to IoT networks is crucial in preventing it. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help decrease concerns from arising.

Motives for IoT Cybersecurity Attacks

IoT attacks are broad and the sum total of all potential security vulnerabilities. There are no standard controls or protocols for developers.

Often IT departments are not aware of all the devices on their networks. This makes the task of patching security issues close to impossible.

Furthermore, many IoT users are not equipped with the tools or knowledge to lessen the risks.

Computer and network attacks involve attempts to expose, alter, disable, destroy, or steal. Attackers will try to gain unauthorized access to your device or connection.

There are several reasons hackers conduct cybersecurity attacks, including:
  • Competition
  • Retaliation
  • Showmanship
  • Protest
  • Extortion

3 Major Cybersecurity Concerns

Here are some of the more common assaults on IoT networks.

1. Hijacked Devices Sending Spam Emails
All IoT devices are vulnerable to hackers. This includes smart appliances, smartphones, and smart televisions.

Other systems, like Roku and Wii consoles, are risks too. They also have the same computing functionality as a modern tablet.

This means hijackers can turn devices into email servers with the intent to spam.

Hackers use devices to send out thousands of email spam messages. The majority of the time, device owners are completely unaware of the problem.

2. Remote Vehicle Hijacking
Most people focus only on the benefits of having a remote vehicle. But there are risk factors associated with them they must consider.

There are many consequences when malicious attackers gain remote access to your vehicle. Thankfully, automakers are aware of this and are paying close attention to this risk.

As the infotainment system is another IoT device that connects to the internet.

A prime example:

After two security researchers gained wireless control of some functions, Chrysler took action. The auto company moved to patch the infotainment system of the Jeep Cherokee with the issue.

3. Privacy Leaks
Hackers can easily identify unsecured IoT devices.

These systems can leak the internet protocol (IP) address. This can reveal and pinpoint a location, along with other information.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows traffic to flow from a device through a server before reaching its final destination. Creating protection. This process will enable you to mask your IP address and replace it with one from the VPN server.

When using a VPN, all traffic flowing to and from the device is encrypted. The encryption most top-rated VPN providers use is 256-bit AES and robust.

It is no wonder why many Information security experts recommend VPNs. This secures IoT connections by encrypting all traffic through your ISP.

By installing a virtual private network VPN on your router. This technology enables you to perform the same functionality safely.

With the right VPN, you can protect your network, IoT devices, and IP address from prying eyes.

How to Connect IoT Devices to a VPN

If you have never used a VPN before, you will need to learn the process.

You can use VPNs on just about any device. This includes desktops, mobile apps, and full-scale enterprise IT infrastructures.

But it is impractical to install a VPN on all personal or business computers and other devices. Since many smart devices are not compatible with VPN software, you cannot install it on them.

This does not mean security is not available, the use of a VPN router is another solution.

Having your router configured with a VPN is essential in keeping connected-devices safe. Thus, every device that connects to that router will automatically be protected by that VPN.

You may already have a VPN on your router, as many routers are pre-configured with a VPN today. But since the VPN only protects the devices when they are connected to it, once you go off the VPN router, the protection goes away too.

Devices that stop using the VPN router will need a native VPN to maintain protection when away from it.

Failing to protect devices that leave your security with holes. Protecting your devices is especially important when using public WiFi hotspots. These spots are prime hacker territory.

Using a VPN makes a significant difference in the security of your network and connected devices. They will help patch the holes and protect them from various attacks.

Keep hackers away from accessing your devices and private information by using a VPN.

illustration: Freepik / Vectorpouch

Read next: Top Signs that your VPN Service isn't Legit!
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