Smart home device manufacturers must do more to protect users from hacking

Two in five smart homes are at risk from unpatched devices and weak credentials, report finds

IoT

More needs to be done by IoT manufacturers to protect users' smart home devices from being hacked, according to research.

The 2019 Avast Smart Home Report said that 40.3% of homes worldwide have more than five smart devices connected and 40.8% of these digital homes worldwide contain at least one vulnerable connected device.

The majority (69.2%) of vulnerable devices in households worldwide were found to have weak credentials, such as using passwords or one-factor authentication. A further 31.8% of these devices worldwide were vulnerable due to not being patched.

The report said that, in a perfect world, "IoT manufacturers would be working with security experts to ensure a security layer is included in their devices".

"The current approach to securing IoT devices is to expect the user to take action and understand how to accomplish this even when the majority of vulnerabilities are caused by unpatched security flaws, which is extremely concerning," the report continued.

"This approach creates a security gap - and a massive opportunity for cybercriminals. With a high diversity of IoT devices on the market, it is difficult and complex to provide protection at the device level, and therefore smart home security needs to begin and end at the network level."

Avast also scanned 11 million routers worldwide and found that over half (59.7%) worldwide either have weak credentials or software vulnerabilities. According to the report, out-of-date software is often the weakest link in the security chain, making it an easy gateway for cyber criminals looking to access other connected devices.

"Simple security steps like setting strong, unique passwords and two-factor authentication for all device access and ensuring software patches and firmware updates are applied when available, will significantly improve digital home integrity," said Ondrej Vlcek, president of consumer at Avast.

Featured Resources

BIOS security: The next frontier for endpoint protection

Today’s threats upend traditional security measures

Download now

The role of modern storage in a multi-cloud future

Research exploring the impact of modern storage in defining cloud success

Download now

Enterprise data protection: A four-step plan

An interactive buyers’ guide and checklist

Download now

The total economic impact of Adobe Sign

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by Adobe Sign

Download now

Recommended

8 of the most secure web browsers
web browser

8 of the most secure web browsers

25 Sep 2020
Your essential guide to internet security
Security

Your essential guide to internet security

23 Sep 2020
How to enable private browsing on any device
privacy

How to enable private browsing on any device

22 Sep 2020
Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity
social media

Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity

21 Sep 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go
Cloud

The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go

25 Sep 2020