The number of IoT devices has increased exponentially in recent years, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, networking hardware company Cisco predicted that there will be 28.5 billion connected devices in the world by 2022. Even today, it would be very difficult to find a household that doesn’t have at least one connected device. Cisco also estimated that the average number of connected devices per person will grow to 3.6 by 2022. North America is expected to spearhead the trend with 13.4 connected devices per person, followed by Western Europe with 9.4.
As the number of IoT devices increases, so does the number of cyber attacks directed at them. According to cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, there were three times more attacks on connected devices in the first half of 2018 than there were in the entire 2017. Previously, in the period between 2016 and 2017, the number of attacks increased 10 times, indicating a troubling upward trend that’s set to become even more pronounced in the coming years as IoT devices become more ubiquitous.
Until manufacturers raise their standards and invest more in implementing strong security features, businesses and consumers will have to do their own part to ensure that the devices they bring into their workplaces and homes aren’t a security risk. The best way to do that is to purchase IoT devices exclusively from manufacturers with a proven track record when it comes to security; use unique, strong passwords for each device; and always keep software and firmware updated. Even that won’t be enough to completely eliminate the threat, but it will at least minimize it.