A home of interconnected internet-facing devices is a security nightmare, report shows

smart home
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com) (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The internet of things (IoT) has been gradually filling our homes with internet enabled devices, but the guise of convenience and home management has paved the way for a security nightmare, experts have warned.

The Bitdefender - Netgear 2024 Threat Report [PDF] has claimed maintaining a secure network of IoT devices is becoming more difficult thanks to critical vulnerabilities going unpatched which are then frequently abused by attackers.

The report found the devices most vulnerable to suffer an attack are Smart TVs (31%), followed by routers (24%) and IP cameras (12%).

 IoT explosion

Worryingly, and slightly expectedly, almost every IoT exploitation relies on previously known common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) that have not been patched by the device owner, with the average home containing 21 internet-facing devices.

Moreover, home networks are being attacked over 10 times per day, which has increased from 8 in 2023. Bitdefender revealed in the report that its home security solution tackles an average of 2.5 million threats every day.

So why are homes suffering so many more attacks? The most likely answer is that people are holding on to their devices for longer with many devices facing discontinued support once they reach the end of their expected lifespan, such as Smart TVs.

New regulations are expected to be signed into law to combat the threats facing IoT devices, with the US government introducing the Cyber Trust Mark, which is expected to help people buy devices with strict security standards.

Until this standard is introduced, Bitdefender and Netgear recommended that IoT devices are kept up to date with the latest firmware, IoT devices are separated onto a separate guest network rather than your main home network, and device owners invest in an advanced security solution or firewall to protect all your devices from attackers.

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.