“For more than a year, the majority of business offices have been largely abandoned as employees worked remotely during COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the shortage of staff, our support teams observed that enterprise networks remained bustling with IoT operation,” said Chaitanya Kumar, CEO of MIRAT. “The amount and variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are connected to enterprise networks is enormous, ranging from symphonic lights to IP cameras. Our team discovered that 76% of these devices continue to communicate via unencrypted plain text networks, indicating that the overwhelming IoT transactions are extremely risky for businesses.”
Which Devices Are the Most Vulnerable?
MIRAT recognized nearly half a billion IoT device interactions, 65 percent of which fell under 3 categories: set-top boxes (30%), smart TVs (25%), and smart wearables (20 %).
While the home entertainment and automation category had unique devices, they accounted for the fewest transactions compared to industrial, business, and healthcare devices. Instead, most traffic came from devices in the retail and manufacturing industries — these devices comprised printers, Geo location trackers, vehicle multimedia systems, data collecting terminals such as barcode scanners, and payment terminals. Corporate devices were the next most prevalent, accounting for 28% of transactions, followed by healthcare applications, which accounted for over 8% of traffic.
MIRAT also uncovered several unanticipated cloud-connected products, such as smart refrigerators and light lamps, that were sending traffic through the company network.
And The Targets Are:
Nearly 90% of affected IoT devices were seen transmitting data to servers in one of 3 nations: China (56%), the United States (19%), or India (19%). (14 percent).
How Can Businesses Protect Themselves?
With the number of “smart” devices on the market growing daily, it’s nearly hard to keep them out of your business. Rather than attempting to shadow IT, IT organizations should implement access restrictions that prevent these devices from functioning as open the doors to the most critical company data and applications. These policies and practices are applicable regardless of whether IT professionals (or other personnel) are located on-premises.
MIRAT proposes the following guidelines for mitigating the threat of IoT infections on controlled and shared devices:
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