48% of people unaware their IoT devices pose a security threat

LONDON, U.K. – 30 January, 2017 – Nearly half (48%) of citizens remain unaware that their connected devices could be infiltrated and used to conduct a cyber attack. That’s according to a new IoT security whitepaper which was published today by Canonical – the makers of Ubuntu.

The report, which includes research from over 2,000 UK citizens, highlights the lack of impact that consumer awareness campaigns are having when it comes to internet security and the internet of things.

Despite the government’s latest online cyber awareness campaign costing over £6 per visit, 37% of consumers still believe that they are not ‘sufficiently aware’ of the risks that connected devices pose. What’s more, consumers seem largely ignorant of the escalating threat demonstrated by the high spike in IoT attacks in 2016. 79% say they have not read or seen any recent news stories regarding IoT security or privacy, and 78% claim that their distrust of IoT security has not increased in the last year.

The research also highlights the limited benefits of better education: Consumers are simply not that motivated to actively apply security updates, with the majority applying them only ‘occasionally’ or in some cases – not at all.

Commenting on these findings, Thibaut Rouffineau, Head of Devices Marketing at Canonical said: “These figures are troubling, and should be a wake-up call for the industry. Despite good intentions, government campaigns for cyber awareness and IoT security still have a long way to go. But then that’s the point: Ultimately the IoT industry needs to step up and take on responsibility. Government education of consumers and legislation will have a part to play, but overall the industry needs to take charge of keeping devices up to date and find a way to eliminate any potential vulnerabilities from devices before they can cause issues, rather than placing the burden on consumers.”

Download Ubuntu’s full ‘Taking charge of the IoT’s security vulnerabilities’ report.

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Image source here.

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