The Pandemic and IoT Infections

Remember that brand new thermostat you bought?  You know, the one that you can control from your smartphone?  What if I told you that the thermostat, or any other IoT smart device in particular, is the reason a hacker was able to obtain all your personal sensitive information.  As the world transitions into smart homes and businesses, the new technologies advance faster than the security measures to protect them.  Now in light of the recent pandemic, IoT infections grow even more.

 

The Great Increase

Steadily, yet exponentially, more and more pieces of technology connect to the internet.  Any device that connects to the internet is part of the Internet of Things (IoT).  These devices can range anywhere from an actual computer, to a smartphone, to a wifi-enabled coffee maker.  The increase in device number rises hand-in-hand with the number of new IoT attacks.  O’Donnel makes sure to point out that,  In an article by Lindsey O’Donnell, IoT Device Takeovers Surve 100 Percent in 2020, O’Donnel states,“IoT devices are now responsible for 32.72 percent of all infections observed in mobile and Wi-Fi networks – up from 16.17 percent in 2019.”  In other words. From 2019 to currently, IoT infections have doubled.  Now in 2021, the number will continue to rise exponentially.

 

Does My IoT Device Have COVID?

Due to the pandemic, unfortunately thousands of people catch COVID-19.  However, during the pandemic, IoT devices see more infections as well, although with malware and not with COVID-19.  The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major surge in infection rates.  I can believe her statement because since more people are at home, the more smart home upgrades, or new devices people buy to make their life more efficient.  More people are spending money on devices at home rather than going out on vacation. However, the more people at home means more spare time for attackers.  Again, as the world shifts towards remote working, the sheer number of attack continue to proliferate.

 

Is There an IoT Vaccine?

There may not be a COVID-19 vaccine and no piece of technology can be 100 percent secure.  Is there a mask IoT devices can put on to be protected?  Following simple steps can protect your home network and ensure any new IoT device doesn’t cause harm.  Firstly, make sure that you have a firewall on your network.  Firewalls can help prevent unwanted traffic from entering your network.  Secondly, when setting up your new devices, change the default login credentials.  Default credentials can be found with a simple Google search, allowing attackers easy access.  Finally, keep all devices and everything up to date with the latest updates and firmware.  This ensures that you have the most recent and most secure patches to known vulnerabilities.