You may not know this yet, but if you use Amazon devices in your home, you should keep reading…
On June 8th, Amazon automatically enrolled most of it’s devices (Alexa, Ring, Echo, etc.) onto it’s new Amazon Sidewalk service. Which is basically an experiment by Amazon that leaves your personal privacy and security open to the world. The new wireless mesh service will allow sharing of bandwidth with nearby compatible Amazon devices and other Sidewalk users.
If you haven’t already opted out, you and millions of other Amazon customers in the U.S. are now Sidewalk users. Amazon wrote a whitepaper on the service detailing the technology and service terms. But my advice would be to opt out, particularly on corporate Amazon devices where sensitive business information could be at risk.
Historically, new implementations of wireless network technologies (WEP, Bluetooth, etc.) have been plagued with security problems. I am already concerned with the risks of using IoT devices and this will only compound the security risk by allowing passers-by into your networked devices without your knowledge. There’s little reason to believe Amazon will do much better to protect your security. With so many people working from home, the risk involves not just your own privacy, but the integrity of your company’s most sensitive data. I recommend creating a company policy that anyone working from home must disable their Amazon Sidewalk services.
Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to opt out of or disable the Sidewalk service on your Amazon devices.
As always, this newsletter is for informational purposes, but I am available to help update your Amazon Echo, Ring or other IoT devices. It might also be a good time to for us to review your security settings and policies to ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect your business (and personal) information.