A great way to keep an eye on our homes and our families is to use security cameras. Security systems can get extremely pricey which has encouraged consumer grade cameras to become more widely available. Their popularity has made the prices fall and has encouraged manufacturers to make their cameras more user friendly. User friendly doesn’t always set consumers up for success though. A story recently surfaced exposing one of the risks consumers make in regard to consumer use of one of these cameras.
Multiple news sources have reported that a Ring brand camera was hacked. In the case that motivated this post, a hacker gained access to a camera and engaged in a discussion with a young person in their bedroom. It is suspected that the hacker took advantage of security flaws in the home network. When Ring was contacted about the attack, they said that the cameras have the ability to protect against this type of attack. It turns out, the consumers failed to understand and utilize the proper configuration of their camera. Here are three separate news sources, with full stories that further explain the details of what actually happened.
The New York Times – Somebody’s Watching: Hackers Breach Ring Home Security Cameras
Buzzfeed News: An 8-Year-Old Girl Had A Terrifying Exchange With A Stranger After He Hacked Her Family’s Ring Camera
CNN Business: A hacker accessed a family’s Ring security camera and told their 8-year-old daughter he was Santa Claus
The cameras in these news stories were improperly configured and introduced holes in the security of the camera. Devices that aren’t properly configured can present points of entry for a hacker to not only itself, but to the whole network as well. We posted about the risks associated with TV security: FBI Warning About New TVs. The risks associated with the security configurations should sound similar. New devices typically use the most current standards for security and they usually have a way of updating the firmware to update their features if they become outdated.
It is important to make sure that when you get new technology, it is configured to be the most secure. Many devices have quick setup options to get you up and running without much hassle. Unfortunately, this way of setting up your equipment doesn’t always use the best security settings. Many consumers have holes in their network security because of poorly configured devices. Every network that has security holes doesn’t get attacked. It is important though to understand that even though the odds of being attacked are low, it only takes one attack to regret not having made sure that your devices and network are secure.
With the large number of devices, it is not possible to explain proper security for each device. The best course of action is to look over the user manual (or search online for it if you’ve thrown it away), and follow its guidelines for setting up the device. If the manual doesn’t have a section on properly securing your device, you can google search for the device name and security settings: “Ring Camera security settings”. It is also important to verify that your router settings are properly configured. The same method of finding the settings can be followed for the router.
The number one reason consumer devices and networks (and sometimes business devices and networks) are not properly configured is because those that set them up don’t always understand the settings, security terms, or how the devices should be configured. Often times, hiring a professional to help is expensive. Sometimes the price is intimidating and it can be hard to know who the right person is for the job. Fortunately for our readers, SheppTech can help with a job like this!
SheppTech prides their focus on security. It can be daunting to keep up with the changing technology and best security practices. We have no choice but to admit that we don’t always have the answers though. It is a matter of fact that nobody has all the answers, no matter if they tell you they do or how much experience or expertise they have. Hackers are always a step ahead of IT professionals because they only have to get lucky once, while security professionals have many avenues of defense to monitor. This is why research and a willingness to admit that the answer isn’t clear is one of the most important qualities of a technology professional.
As security trends change and technologies improve, so will the features and settings that keep our devices protected. Currently, SheppTech has the ability to help research the devices on your network, as well as to analyze the network to ensure best security practices are utilized across all the devices on it. Not only can we help with current devices, but we can help research the best devices to use when there are options for new purchases.
Since technology is always changing, we are working on a way to provide a monthly service to keep our customers up to date. We want to help our community keep up with the changing technologies, security practices, and laws. Some things we want to provide in our subscription services: Regular device update checks, new (and old) device consultation, network analysis and configuration, and security audits.
If you have questions, please reach out via one of our many contact methods. We are more than happy to answer questions and provide guidance, and can set up a consultation if we cannot provide a simple solution or answer. We want you to stay safe in the digital world, and look forward to your inquiries!