Technology in the Break Room that Can Be Hacked

We don't realise how much our working lives are integrated with smart technologies. We can now use mobile devices to pull our curtains back, turn on light switches and even reorder food for our fridge. Isn't this just a recipe for an IT security disaster as hackers intercept the signals from our mobile devices? Well, let's see...

Would you say your company's offices have airtight security for computers and telephones? That's a good first step when you look at security, but there is more to a business than its offices. A digital attack may just as easily occur in the break room as in the office. Here is a breakdown of technology you may not have realized can be hacked.

Coffee Machines

It sounds absurd to some, but it is now possible to set up a coffee machine that connects to wireless Internet. Qualcomm now manufactures a coffee machine that can be controlled by a tablet or smartphone. The benefits of a wireless-friendly coffee machine mean you can set your preferences for types of coffee, flavor, caffeine content, cleaning and sugar levels — but it also give hackers a backdoor into your mobile devices by piggybacking onto the signal. Luckily, security is pretty simple: either use a "dumb" coffee machine, or set up the messaging system to encrypt the outgoing signals from a mobile device.


Internet TVs allow you to log in to all of your digital subscriptions, ranging from your Facebook account to your Netflix favorites.

This wealth of passwords and credit card numbers is a prime target for hackers. If you use an Internet-ready TV in your break room, make sure you set it to auto-log out after as little as 30 seconds of inactivity.

Otherwise, an enterprising phisher will be able to open social media networks and payment histories to mine all types of personal information.

Gaming Consoles

Many video game consoles also store data on owner information and payments. An Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 can help employees relax and build camaraderie during lunch breaks, but these consoles are also vulnerable to attacks. Hackers do not need to break into a system to do this. If anyone leaves the machine on, it is possible to browse through the owner settings to get to personal information. Delete information from any gaming console, and request employees not use it online to prevent mishaps.

Electronic Locks

If your company uses an electronic locking mechanism on the doors to and from the break room, a simple override command allows a hacker to break in and take whatever they find, adding the risk of physical theft to identity theft. Use a wireless alarm system instead of electronic locks in order to minimize unwanted intrusions. These alarm systems have built-in fail safes, as well as monitoring systems to detect intrusions.

Security Cameras

Tapping a security network is pretty easy, especially when you can find instructions online. Anyone who can hack a security camera network can take advantage of whatever they see, whether it is an individual's work habits or his driver's license number. Using a security camera firewall prevents unauthorized access to anyone snooping about.