Wireless connectivity using Bluetooth has become incredibly common with modern devices. Users can connect their smartphones to their vehicle entertainment systems, connect to a Bluetooth printer for easy wireless printing, or connect to portable speakers to keep the music going. Many people simply connect their Bluetooth devices without thinking about the security of Bluetooth and the risks these devices may pose.
Bluetooth security was thrust into the spotlight recently with the discovery of the BlueBorne exploit. The vulnerability allows hackers to wirelessly connect to Bluetooth devices without requiring any sort of verification like a passcode. This essentially gave hackers unfettered access to prone devices. Google and Microsoft quickly released patches to close the hole, but other manufacturers were not so fast.
The BlueBorne exploit is just the most well-known example of Bluetooth security risks. Even if your devices have been patched to address the BlueBorne exploit there is still cause for concern when it comes to Bluetooth security. Whether you use your vehicle system to listen to your favorite playlist while driving or you make use of a Bluetooth printer in your office, you should be aware of the Bluetooth security risks your business may face.
What are the Risks of Bluetooth?
Generally speaking, Bluetooth is a relatively secure communication method. However, like many communication protocols, it is not 100% free of risk. There are still ways that hackers can use Bluetooth to steal information or cause disruption.
One of the most prevalent Bluetooth security risks comes from using outdated Bluetooth standards. Like an operating system on a computer, Bluetooth has undergone many different version updates throughout the years. The most current version of Bluetooth is known as Bluetooth 5. However, many devices may not be using this version due to their age or the delay of manufacturers introducing the technology in their new releases.
Devices operating on Bluetooth 1 and Bluetooth 2 are especially prone to hacking. These versions of Bluetooth have a number of security holes that can be exploited. After a hacker has gained access, they may intercept private communications and data without your knowledge. In a business environment, this loss of data could be devastating.
A denial of service attack can also be performed on some Bluetooth devices. This involves sending a large number of requests to a Bluetooth device in a short time. As a result, communication may be hindered and device batteries may drain much more rapidly than normal.
Of course, there is also the potential for a number of undiscovered Bluetooth security risks that may be exposed in the future. This is why businesses must ensure Bluetooth security today, and continue to monitor news and industry information to stay ahead of the threats.
How Can Bluetooth Security Be Managed?
Bluetooth security is just one part of overall network and information security. There are some simple steps that can be taken to ensure that a business is protected from Bluetooth security risks which will greatly reduce the chance of hackers using existing exploits.
First, devices using an old version of Bluetooth should be banned from using the business network. By eliminating these devices, your business is able to close security vulnerabilities that may put the rest of the network at risk. An outdated Bluetooth printer is one of the most common risks within an office environment that may be operating on an older version of Bluetooth. In addition, employee personal devices or company issued headsets could pose further risk.
Another step to take to protect Bluetooth security is to turn off Bluetooth when not in use. This is especially important when in public, as hackers may attempt a denial of service attack to disrupt your device. By disabling Bluetooth, you effectively eliminate the risk of this type of attack entirely.
Finally, another step to take would be to have a professional network security assessment done at your place of business. This assessment would help identify Bluetooth security risks and provide solutions to ensure the risk is eliminated and your business data is protected. If you are unsure how to identify Bluetooth version numbers, turn off device functionality, or what devices to choose when upgrading, then this type of assessment may be very helpful.
Protect the Security and Information of Your Business
As more and more connected devices using Bluetooth enter the workplace, there is more and more risk to your business. Simple tactics can go a long way in ensuring the security of your network and information from the threat of Bluetooth attacks. At CDS Office Technologies, we have over 40 years of helping businesses manage their network security.
If you are concerned about the threat of Bluetooth security risks as well as other risks to your network then contact our security experts today to learn more about protecting your network, your data, and your devices.