Cyber-attacks Linked with IoT Devices Are on the Rise


Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this uncertain marketplace, and thus, cyber-attacks on IoT solutions are increasingly becoming grave.

Cybercriminals are making the most of the fast-changing digital world with attacks against online solutions. Lately, the attacks on IoT devices are on the rise.  With most enterprises operating remotely, poor security protections are inevitable. This is hurting the business ecosystem at an alarming rate.

The threat actors are increasingly using automated tools in order to exploit these vulnerabilities. A recent research study from Nokia revealed that IoT devices are most infected. The internet-connected or the IoT solutions account for nearly 33% of all the infected devices – which is up from around 16% in 2019.

The findings are based on the data aggregated from observing global network traffic on over 150 million devices. The rapid implementation of IoT devices – medical devices, drones, smart home security monitoring systems is projected to grow continuously.

More consumers and businesses are geared up to take advantage of such ultra-low latency, high bandwidth, and fundamentally innovative networking capabilities, which 5G enables. However, the success rate in infecting IoT tools is dependent on the visibility of devices to the internet.

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In networks where the devices are regularly assigned public-facing IP addresses, a high infection rate is found. In the case of systems where carrier-grade Network Address Translation is in use, the infection rate is potentially less. This is certainly because the vulnerable tools are not detectable upon network scanning.

As mentioned by Bhaskar Gorti, President and Chief Digital Officer at Nokia – “The sweeping changes that are taking place in the 5G ecosystem, with even more 5G networks being deployed around the world as we move to 2021, open ample opportunities for malicious actors to take advantage of vulnerabilities in IoT devices.”

Undoubtedly, malicious actors are taking advantage of the current, uncertain marketplace – as they see it as a prime time to promote their agendas. They are using the pandemic to take control of consumer data via different types of malware. They even hack applications to plant malware into the computers of victims to exploit their personal data.

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In its essence, Nokia suggests that people install applications only from the trusted and verified app stores – such as Play Store by Google and App Store by Apple. There is a critical need for businesses as well as consumers to level up their cybersecurity practices. This is also valid for IoT device producers – in order to stay afloat.