A new survey has found that North American homes have the highest density of Internet of Things (IoT) devices of any region in the world.
Stanford University and Avast published a research paper titled All Things Considered which was based on the data from user-initiated networks scans of 83 million devices in 16 million homes.
Home IoT refers to devices like smart TVs, printers, gaming consoles, and surveillance equipment.
The study revealed that work appliances are the device type with the highest fraction of weak FTP credentials and surveillance devices were found to be the worst for telnet credentials.
Most notably, the survey found that 66% of North American homes possess at least one IoT device, more than a quarter more than the global average of 40%. Media and work appliances are the most common devices found in North American homes. The survey also revealed that 25% of North American homes have more than two IoT devices.
While popular amongst every region, gaming consoles were found considerably more in North America compared to other regions.
Today there are more than 14.3 thousand unique vendors, but over 90% of all devices globally are manufactured by as little as 100 vendors. As the number of IoT vendors and consequently IoT devices continues to grow, so does the security community’s worries regarding the possibility of an attack.
Let’s take a look back at the Mirai botnet for example – the botnet was made up of IoT devices compromised due to weak credentials and used to launch massive DDoS attacks which tool down the likes of Twitter, Spotify, and PayPal.
Cybercriminals were able to easily identify these vulnerable IoT devices because they were all left in their default state with UPnP ports and default usernames and passwords, allowing easy access for those looking to cause damage.
With IoT devices being as widespread as they are, manufacturers must make security a before thought and not an afterthought when developing these new technologies. Learn more about securing the Internet of Things in our recent article Cyber-Security Of The Fridge: Assessing The Internet Of Things Threat