The Weakest Link on Your Network and the Risk Associated
What comes to mind when identifying the weakest links in your organization’s network? Hackers are continuously thinking outside the box in their bid to steal sensitive information from businesses and disrupt business activities. These cybercriminals are constantly looking out for vulnerabilities to exploit.

To reduce costs some businesses only protect key systems, ignoring other devices. While they may do a great job ensuring computers and servers have multi-layered protection, they are often caught off guard due to a breach of a device they neglected to properly protect. One they didn’t think hackers would attack… IoT devices (aka internet-connected sensors, smart gadgets, and other hardware).

Between January and June 2021, there have been over 1.5 billion IoT breaches reported. Just because an IoT device may not contain data itself, the fact that it is connected to your network makes it a target. Hackers can use the less-protected IoT device to gain access to your network and then continue to other more sensitive devices (like computer workstations). 

How can you protect your business from these types of attacks? We’ll walk you through some of these devices and how hackers can exploit their vulnerabilities to wreak havoc in your organization. 

4 Devices That Are The Weakest Links In Your Organization


1. GPS Tracking devices

An excellent example of a tracking application is the GPS. The GPS is handy for locating a shipment or tracking your employees’ locations in a large facility. However, because of the great distance the radio waves must travel, GPS is always vulnerable to attacks.

GPS signals have many vulnerabilities that enable hackers to access sensitive information on different location tracking devices. These vulnerabilities include simple passwords, insecure API endpoints, and folders. 

For this reason, hackers can gain access to information that is contained on smart GPS-enabled devices or even your employees’ cars. Unidentified users can locate the tracking device and collect sensitive data by exploiting these vulnerabilities. 

How to prevent hackers from manipulating GPS tracking devices

  • Use secured passwords
  • Encourage the use of secure API endpoints

2. Security cameras & NVRs

Many organizations are investing in security networks every year as a way to mitigate theft and record important activities. Today, many surveillance cameras are installed in different strategic positions of an office or facility to monitor suspicious activities. The increase in the implementation of security cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) has increased the rate of cyberattacks. This is because many organizations do not take precautions when using these devices.

Cybercriminals can exploit security cameras, as they can other IoT devices, because of their inherent vulnerabilities. Most times, they are connected to the internet, and because they use IP addresses, they can be easily found using Shodan. This search engine makes it easy to discover internet-connected devices. 

In some cases, organizations enable third parties to access the footage. The consequences of this can be disastrous should that access be exploited.

How to prevent hackers from manipulating data using security cameras

  • Use strong passwords
  • Do not allow third-parties to send information using your security cameras
  • Monitor your system for unfamiliar activities 

3. Time tracking machines

This technology innovation is used as an attendance system for many organizations. Sometimes, the payroll of employees is calculated based on this device to determine the amount accrued to a staff member. 

Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) was one of the organizations hit hard by hackers’ activities who gained access to its time tracking machine. Hackers exploited the information contained on the device and affected the payroll for staff. 

This activity destabilized the operations of the organizations and caused unrest among the clients. To worsen the situation, UKG had no backups for the attack because UKG didn’t anticipate it. 

How to prevent hackers from manipulating time tracking machines

  • Invest in remediation technology 

4. Mechanical controllers

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) are important components of automation systems. The PLCs are essential in controlling machinery for assembly or manufacturing industries such as the airport, power grids, etc. 

There are many unsecured PLCs with little or no mechanism to protect them. Since PLCs are used to control machinery, leaving them unprotected is a significant cybersecurity challenge. In addition, some of them are connected to the internet and can be accessed by skilled cybercriminals. 

Hackers can identify this weak link and use it to execute a cyberattack. This was evident in the Ukraine power-grid attack.

How to prevent hackers from manipulating mechanical controllers

  • Efficient maintenance
  • The use of a protection mechanism 

Stay Protected With Data First Solutions

Don’t wait until hackers discover your weakest links before you protect your organization. We provide services tailored to meet your needs. 

You can call 416-412-0576 or send an email to get started.

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