It’s not just consumers who are at risk from having their smart devices hacked, a Hampshire IT company has warned. Taylor Made Computer Solutions says the rise in organisations adopting ‘smart technology’ means businesses are just as much in danger of being held to ransom over data.
It comes as the National Crime Agency and National Cyber Security Centre warns this week that smartphones, watches and fitness trackers could be used to hold people to ransom over data. Ransomware is software used by hackers to make devices unusable until their owners back to unlock them.
Nigel Taylor, managing director of Taylor Made Computer Solutions, based in Fareham, said the rise of smart technology in the workplace put businesses just as much in the danger zone.
He said: “Smart technology has huge benefits to business, helping them become more connected and work more efficiently than ever before. Corporations are providing their employees with fitness trackers to help them remember to take screen breaks and engineers are even using Google Glass out in the field to help with repairs to equipment.
“However, with greater connectivity becomes greater risk. Every time we connect a device to the Internet we are putting ourselves in the sights of hackers and we need to address that risk.”
Taylor advised that creating a secondary authentication process beyond just one password was one way to keep smart devices safe. Ensuring security updates were up-to-date and changing default usernames also helped to make it more difficult for hackers to access information.
He added that it could be easy to forget some common office equipment was a smart device and therefore connected to the Internet. “Almost every office now has a scanner or printer which allows them to email documents straight from it. This makes it a smart device so it’s important to ensure it’s secure.”
As many as 21 billion devices used by businesses and consumers around the world are forecast to be connected to the internet by 2020.
According to the National Crime Agency and National Cyber Security Centre, the use of ransomware has become more widespread in the last year and the risk to business, not just consumers, is “significant and growing”.