operational technology

What’s on my network?

So, my TV displayed a pop-up saying it had just lost its WiFi connection. Odd I thought considering I never knew it was connected to the internet in the first place, but my wife had done it a couple of years back. I knew we had an Amazon Firestick dangling out the back that ‘was’ connected to the internet, but not the actual TV.

Being somewhat worried about the TV, I then went and counted all the internet connected devices in the home. There was 28! Quite a staggering number for just two people, given that I would have guessed the number to be around 8 or 10 max. How many of these devices are patched with the latest software? How many have had their default password changed? Did I even know how to update the software on all these devices or change the passwords? Sure, for PC’s, iPhones and iPads I was happy with my security, but what about said TV? What about the sound system?, or the Amazon echo?, or the printer? or the powerline ethernet WiFi? and what about the WiFi hotspot connection for the Land Rover parked outside!

So, …have you counted yours lately?

But let us park the home problem for a minute, because other than large organisations, the majority of companies cannot simply detect all ‘things’ connected to their networks either. Literally every time I used to turned up on-site to do a presentation or consultancy, I was able to connect my alien PC up to the corporate network with ease and without question and pretty much move around the entire flat network without detection. This is bad. Really bad and few companies do anything about it.

And they say the Internet of Things (fridge, microwave heating system etc..) is heading our way fast. But that’s a headache for another day…