SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Aussies too lax about IoT security - McAfee

Mon 18 Mar 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

New McAfee research has revealed almost a third (32%) of Aussies take no steps towards securing their connected devices, even if they think they might be listening to their conversations.  

The research shows that Aussie consumers are at a loss when it comes to securing the increasing number of connected devices in their homes and are often opting to take no action at all. 

Over a quarter of Aussies (27%) never change the default password on their Wi-Fi router and almost a fifth (18%) wait upward of a month to update the software on their devices. 

Despite this, 30% of people admitted they would have no idea who to turn to if one of those devices was hacked. 

When it comes to parents, over a quarter (30%) are failing to install security on any of their children’s devices.

This could be explained by the fact that almost 40% of Aussie parents surveyed think their children could look after their own cyber safety at the age of 10 or under, with the mean age being just 12 years old.

When it comes to securing WiFi routers, a lack of understanding appears to be the reason why a quarter of respondents don’t do anything to protect their WiFi router. 

Close to half (41%) of Aussies don’t understand the difference between protecting their home WiFi and protecting the devices connected to it, with half (50%) of respondents believing that their home WiFi is protected if the devices connected to it have security software installed. 

“From connected fridges to WiFi enabled doorbells, IoT devices are making their way into homes at an increasing rate, with Gartner predicting as many as 20 billion such devices will exist by 2020.

“Unfortunately, security is not always prioritised by IoT manufacturers, and it’s up to consumers to ensure their connected home is protected,” says McAfee APAC CTO Ian Yip.  

“By taking a casual approach to securing our home WiFi networks, Aussies are effectively giving cybercriminals a key to the castle by allowing them easier access to a large number of data-rich devices through one point of entry, their router.”  

Not only are consumers putting their own private and financial information at risk, but the connected nature of IoT devices can be leveraged for more sinister and sophisticated attacks with widespread effects. 

A prime example is the 2016 Mirai botnet attack that used 2.5 million compromised devices to take down part of the internet on the East Coast of the United States.   

Other key findings from the McAfee research include:  

  • Close to half (40%) of Aussies said that they either don’t worry about security on their devices or believe whatever security software comes with the device will be enough. 
  • Almost a fifth (18%) of parents surveyed think having security installed on their kids’ devices is a waste of money, 44% have never thought about, 32% don’t think they need it. 
  • Almost a fifth (19%) of Aussies say they have had their connected devices containing personal information compromised by a cyber-attack 

Simple tips to secure your increasingly connected home: 

There are a few simple things people can do to prevent IoT attacks and still enjoy their smart homes.  

  • Check a device’s security track record: Before buying any connected device, do your research on the brand and read reviews on a product’s security (or lack of). A quick web search will provide you with the research you need to know about the device’s security standards. Going with a notable brand that has a proven security track record is often the best option. 
     
  • Change default settings, use strong passwords, and enable two-factor authentication: Default and weak passwords are the biggest threat to the security of IoT devices as hackers know these passwords and use them to access the data on your devices. Go into the product settings (general and advanced) and create a unique, strong password with long phrases, special characters, mixed cases, and digits to make it difficult for cybercriminals to guess. If the thought of remembering several passphrases daunts you, go for a password manager. While a strong and unique password is a great place to start, enabling two-factor authentication on your devices and accounts will mean you’ll need to verify your identity with something that you (and only you) have access to, most commonly a mobile device, which ensures a higher level of security. 
     
  • Keep your devices up to date: Within each update, providers often place a patch that will you protect your device from recently discovered security bugs, vulnerabilities and threats. If you’re in the common habit if ignoring update notifications, turning on auto-update will ensure you apply these patches in real time and have maximum protection.
     
  • Secure devices with a strong network: Securing your Wi-Fi network by changing default settings, creating a strong password and applying other security protocols such as WPA2 will help create an extra layer of security for a connected home.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
4/10 Australian SMEs fallen victim to cyber-attacks since pandemic
Almost four out of teb SMEs in Australia have fallen victim to cyber-attacks since the pandemic began, according to a new study.
Story image
Transport
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
Malware
Fortinet introduces self-learning AI in latest offering
Fortinet is introducing self-learning AI capabilities in its new network detection and response offering, FortiNDR.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Malware
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Remote Working
Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues
SOTI's new report finds better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.