Continued Growth of the “Internet of Me” Has 88 Percent of Consumers Considering the Risks of Using Connected DevicesNational Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds all digital citizens to stay educated about cutting-edge technology and better protect against their associated threats
Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2016 – From the appliances and thermostats in our homes to apps and wearables that track our health and fitness to the vehicles we drive and the streetlights and traffic signals that guide us on the road, smart technologies are becoming increasingly interconnected with our everyday lives. A new ESET/National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) study on the Internet of Things (IoT) – the connectivity of a wide variety of “things” to the internet – reveals that 56 percent of consumers own up to three devices – not counting their computers and smartphones – that connect to their home routers, with 22 percent having between four and 10 additional connected devices and three percent owning more than 10. Despite the growing number of connected devices in the home, however, 43 percent of respondents reported either not having changed their default router passwords or not being sure whether they had done so. In Week 4 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), NCSA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and their partners in industry, government and the nonprofit sector are collaborating to educate the general public about the risks associated with smart devices and how everyone can better protect themselves and their information online.
“The Internet of Things presents tremendous opportunities for managing our health, homes and businesses, but we need to have our eyes wide open about the risks as well,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. “IoT technology is driven by personal information – it’s really an ‘Internet of Me’ – so it’s important to be proactive about understanding what information your devices collect about you, how that information is used, where it’s being stored and what kind of control you have over it. Additionally, it’s especially important to pay attention to the security of your mobile device if you are using it to control IoT devices – as well as your router, if you’re connecting devices to it.”
ESET’s study and accompanying infographic, which examine consumers’ connected device use and habits and attitudes on IoT security, also found the following:
“The reality is, the bad guys go where the opportunities are, and data from IoT devices will increasingly become a golden opportunity for them,” said Andrew Lee, CEO of ESET North America. “That is why the education and awareness NCSA is bringing to the public is so important. It’s truly a reminder for people to stop and think before they connect.”
A NCSAM keystone event today at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City will bring together a group of key industry influencers. Topics will address the exciting opportunities presented by our ever-growing, cutting-edge world and how to secure our rapidly expanding ecosystem and build a future of security through modernization and trust. The event will also be attended by media guests and leaders in the private and public sectors. Panel discussions will focus on securely integrating smart tech into daily life and building a trusted, secure and connected enterprise and ecosystem. Sponsors of the event include Cisco, LifeLock and CompTIA.
“Every day, organizations face new opportunities and risks that technologies such as IoT create. While some leaders see the potential for improved business operations and financial gain, and see security as an enabler of those technologies, others consider security an obstacle,” said Anthony Grieco, senior director and trust strategy officer at Cisco. “Cisco understands how important it is to build a corporate culture that encourages all employees to take ownership of security so that new technologies can be seamlessly integrated without disruption. Organizations like NCSA and events like NCSAM are helping educate the public about critical aspects of cybersecurity that benefit both consumers and businesses.”
Rapidly advancing technology is making our lives easier and unlocking potential for the future, but it’s important to remember to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ NCSA recommends following these tips to enjoy the countless benefits of cutting-edge tech with more peace of mind:
“Less than a decade ago, mobile devices came into our lives. Today, they provide convenience we cannot imagine living without. Because these devices are so vital to our daily lives, people may take them for granted and pay less attention to their security,” said Kaiser. “But when you start bringing devices into the home – a sanctuary and traditionally the most private place to most Americans – you want to be really thoughtful about when, how and what you connect to the internet. Additionally, you will most likely keep some of your IoT devices, like smart refrigerators or cars, much longer than you would have a smartphone or tablet, so it’s especially important to think about the security and privacy capabilities of these bigger-purchase connected items before making long-term investments in them.”
Check out the NCSAM Week 4 infographic for more information on leveraging your “Internet of Me” more safely and securely.
NCSAM Week 4 Resources for Navigating Your Continuously Connected Life
The following tools and materials can help you better understand cutting-edge technology, safeguard your devices and manage your personal information, security and privacy in the growing IoT.
Upcoming NCSAM Events
Throughout the month, you can follow the NCSAM conversation on social media using the hashtag #CyberAware (and tagging your own posts with #CyberAware, too!). Additionally, @STOPTHNKCONNECT is hosting weekly Twitter chats throughout October to discuss different topics and trends in cybersecurity. Tune in Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. EDT to join the conversation, and visit the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ website for the full chat schedule. NCSA has created sample social media posts, infographics, posters, memes and more that encourage organizations and individuals to show their support for NCSAM and that can be downloaded and shared. You can also get the latest resources as they are available by registering as a NCSAM Champion. Finally, check out the Stay Safe Online blog for NCSAM posts from NCSA and partners during the month of October.
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Now in its 13th year, NCSAM is co-founded and co-led by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation’s leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the Internet and digital privacy. Recognized annually in October, NCSAM involves the participation of a multitude of industry leaders ‒ mobilizing individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, academia, multinational corporations and governments. Encouraging digital citizens around the globe to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Visit the NCSA media room to learn more.
About the National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation's leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NCSA's Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AT&T Services, Inc.; Bank of America; Barclays; BlackBerry Corporation; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Facebook; Google; Intel Corporation; Logical Operations; Microsoft Corp.; NXP Semiconductors; PayPal; PKWARE; Raytheon; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; Salesforce; SANS Institute; Symantec and Visa Inc. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October), Data Privacy Day (January 28) and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign cofounded by NCSA and the Anti Phishing Working Group, with federal government leadership from DHS. For more information on NCSA, please visit staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/.
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at stopthinkconnect.org.
 ESET Survey in collaboration with NCSA: Our Increasingly Connected Lives (https://www.eset.com/us/resources/detail/survey-internet-of-stranger-things/)