IoT and Personal Devices Pose Security Concern to Enterprise

The cybersecurity risk posed to enterprises by IoT devices is significant

The cybersecurity risk posed to enterprises by the personal and internet-enabled devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT) is significant.

According to a study by network control firm Infoblox, enterprise networks across the UK, Germany and the US have thousands of unmanaged personal [devices – delete] and IoT devices connecting to their networks.  

The research report on shadow IT devices lurking on enterprise networks warns organisations against overlooking employee-owned laptops, e-readers, mobile phones and IoT devices such as digital assistants and smart kitchen appliances that are connecting to their network.  

The study showed that in more than a third of companies polled, more than 5,000 personal devices are connecting to their networks each day.

A third of companies in the UK, Germany and the US have more than 1,000 shadow IT devices connected to their network on a typical day, with 12% of UK organisations reporting having more than 10,000.

The most common devices found on enterprise networks include fitness trackers (49%) digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa (47%), smart TVs (46%), smart kitchen devices (33%) and gaming consoles (30%).

Such devices are easily discoverable by cybercriminals via search engines for internet-connected devices. In March 2018 such scans revealed that there were 5,966 identifiable cameras deployed in the UK, 2,346 identifiable smart TVs deployed in Germany and 1,571 identifiable Google Home digital assistants deployed in the US.

While 88% of the IT leaders that responded to the survey believe their security policy is either effective or very effective, nearly a quarter of employees from the US and UK did not know if their organisation had a security policy.

Of those that reported that their organisation did have a security policy for connected devices, 20% of UK respondents claimed they either rarely, or never, follow it. Only one-fifth of respondents in the US and UK reported that they followed it to the letter.  

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