IoT malware attacks worldwide surge by 66%

Issue 2 2021 News, Cyber Security

From wearables and baby monitors to defibrillators and industrial robots, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are slowly taking over our lives. However, so are cyber threats related to these devices.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, based on the ‘Global Cyberattack Trends’ report by SonicWall, in 2020, malware attacks on IoT devices spiked by 66% compared to 2019. In a year, they grew from 34,3 million cases to nearly 56,9 million.

The majority of other cyberattack types also experienced an increase in attacks last year, including ransomware (62%), cryptojacking (28%), intrusion attempts (20%) and encrypted threats (4%). Malware infections, on the other hand, dropped by 43%.

An increase in IoT malware attacks was seen across all global regions last year. However, some regions were more affected than others. North America saw the biggest upturn in IoT malware cases in 2020. In a year, IoT malware attacks leaped by an alarming 152%.

Europe occupies the second spot in the list. In 2020, malware attacks on IoT devices there rose by 48% compared to the year before. In the meantime, Asia recorded an 18% increase in IoT malware cases year-over-year, while Africa, Australia, and South America saw the smallest increase in IoT malware cases at 17%.

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her advice on protecting IoT devices from cyber threats: “When it comes to securing Internet of Things devices, many of the same rules apply as they would for computers and smartphones. Make sure to keep your software up to date, use strong and unique passwords, and disable any device features you do not need to limit the potential entry points for hackers.

“It is also advisable to set up a separate guest Wi-Fi network for your IoT devices. Thus, if hackers manage to compromise any of your smart devices, they will not be able to infect computers on your primary network.”

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