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Security worries rise as IoT devices become more common

(Image credit: Image Credit: Chesky / Shutterstock)

The number of IoT devices in households around the world is growing fast, but security practices aren’t keeping up, meaning people are placing their networks and personal data at risk.

This is according to a new report by Avast, which not only looked at how many IoT devices people are getting, but also how they’re handling cybersecurity.

The report says that roughly four in ten households around the world have at least one IoT device – jumping to two thirds in North America.

The majority of these devices are built by just 100 vendors (even though 14,000 manufacturers are in the market). Almost one in ten (which basically means millions of devices) use obsolete protocols like FTP or Telnet, making them extra vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fifteen per cent of home routers are doing the same thing.

Avast argues that manufacturers should do more to secure the devices they’re selling, so that their customers – potential victims – need to worry less about cybersecurity, and can enjoy their devices more.

“The security community has long discussed the problems associated with emerging IoT devices,” said Zakir Durumeric, assistant professor of computer science at Stanford University. 

“Unfortunately, these devices have remained hidden behind home routers and we’ve had little large-scale data on the types of devices deployed in actual homes. This data helps us shed light on the global emergence of IoT and the types of security problems present in the devices real users own.”

Image Credit: Chesky / Shutterstock