The latest Nokia Threat Intelligence Report said Internet-connected, or IoT, devices make up roughly 33 percent of infected devices against about 16 percent in 2019.
The report’s findings are based on data aggregated from monitoring network traffic on more than 150 million devices where Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security product is deployed.
Cyberattacks on internet-connected devices are increasing due to poor security protections and cybercriminals use of automated tools to exploit vulnerabilities.
Adoption of IoT devices, from smart home security monitoring systems to drones and medical devices, is expected to grow as consumers and enterprises move to take advantage of the high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, and new networking capabilities that 5G mobile networks enable.
The rate of success in infecting IoT devices depends on the visibility of the devices to the internet. In networks where devices are routinely assigned public facing internet IP addresses, a high infection rate is seen.
In networks where carrier-grade Network Address Translation is used, the infection rate is considerably reduced because the vulnerable devices are not visible to network scanning, Nokia said.
Bhaskar Gorti, Nokia Software President and chief digital officer, said: “The changes that are taking place in the 5G ecosystem, with even more 5G networks being deployed around the world as we move to 2021, open opportunities for malicious actors to take advantage of vulnerabilities in IoT devices.”