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Remote Work May Have Caused a Major Uptick in IoT Attacks

In today’s day and age, there are countless connected devices, many of which are some that have historically not been connected to the Internet. These devices, which comprise a computing body called the Internet of Things, have made up a significant portion of cyberattacks in 2021. The primary perpetrator of these Internet of Things attacks might be what you least expect: the smart home.

This all makes perfect sense when you consider where most employees have been working lately: their home. The remote work circumstances surrounding the pandemic have led many employees to remain at home and away from the protections and safety nets found on their organization’s in-house IT infrastructure.

This is why we always preach that the simpler you can make your IT infrastructure, the better. More entry points on your network (i.e. more connected devices) means more avenues that hackers and cybercriminals can take to infiltrate your network. Smart devices are everywhere these days, particularly in the smart home, where devices like security cameras, appliances, thermostats, and so much more are all hooked up to the Internet for ease of access, convenience, and control. It’s no wonder that with the surge of remote work, cyberattacks via IoT devices have taken off.

These increased reports of IoT attacks come from a report by Kaspersky. The cybersecurity researchers planted traps to gauge the impact of IoT devices on cyberattacks and found some incredible results. Throughout the first half of 2021, Kaspersky found 1.5 billion cyberattacks focused on IoT devices. Compared to the previous year, this is about double from 2020.

Researchers believe that this is due to many workers utilizing virtual private networks to access company data while working remotely. Attackers can effectively DDoS these connections and take advantage of misconfigured or unsecured gateways, as well as gain access to networks. These connections are generally discovered by hackers within five minutes, and it’s all thanks to advanced, large-scale Internet scanning. Basically, hackers are casting an extremely large net and looking to catch some unsecured devices.

The moral of this article is that unsecured connected devices are always going to be a threat to your business, so it’s best to take precautions as early as possible. Furthermore, you should always be monitoring your infrastructure for suspicious activity, and it never hurts to have an official stance on IoT devices on the company network, either. The last thing you want is for someone’s smartwatch or other oddity exposing your network to a data breach.

Don’t let the Internet of Things get your cybersecurity strategy down. If you need help securing your business from all manners of threats, S3 Technologies can help with our enterprise-grade security solutions designed to protect your company both in and out of the office. To learn more, reach out to us at (505)242-5683.