Chennai Most Prone to Cyberattacks; Routers Most Vulnerable IoT Devices in India

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  • Chennai recorded the highest percentage of cyberattacks among Tier 1 cities in Q1 FY20 followed by Kolkata 
  • Highest cyber risk exposure is recorded on Friday and lowest on Sunday
  • Most IoT device manufacturers and users are still ignorant about the necessity of optimised security

Indian netizens are under regular cyberattacks with almost one in three internet users in the country having encountered cyberattacks in the Q1 of the current fiscal 2019–20, reveals K7 Computing – a Chennai-based cyber security solutions provider.

According to its latest edition of the Cyber Threat Monitor (CTM) report, internet users in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata experienced more attacks than other Tier-1 cities.

As per the report, Chennai recorded the highest percentage of cyberattacks among Tier 1 cities in the first quarter at 48 percent followed by Kolkata with 41 percent. Hyderabad and Bengaluru witnessed 39 percent of cyber users coming under attack. Delhi registered the lowest of cyberattacks with 28 per cent during Q1.

Cyber risk exposure steadily rises on working days in metros. Highest cyber risk exposure is recorded on Friday and lowest on Sunday, while the riskiest hour in the metros is around 4 pm and safest time is around 6 am, the report revealed.

In Tier-2 cities, Patna experienced the most cyberattacks (48 per cent), followed by Guwahati (46 per cent) and Lucknow (45 per cent), while Thiruvananthapuram was the safest among others at 35 per cent. Tier-2 cities were found to be worse hit when compared to metros and Tier-1 regions.

Danger in IoT (Internet of Things)

As per the report, routers are the most vulnerable IoT devices existing in the country, followed by printers, NAS, IP cameras, media players, set-top boxes, and smart TVs.

“Most IoT attacks are currently related to the hijacking of devices, including your typical household Wi-Fi routers, using them as a part of a botnet to launch large-scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to take down entire targeted networks,” the report noted.

However, a massive number of IoT device manufacturers and users are still ignorant about the necessity of optimised security, thus inviting massive-scale attacks – the report said.

Mitigation Techniques

Users and enterprises should adopt necessary safeguards to ensure adequate protection of the entire network containing IoT devices, the report suggested.

The report also provided a list of recommendations, which include  –

  • Buy IoT appliances and routers from reputable device manufacturers with decent security features.
  • Never use default configurations. Configure the routers properly.
  • Use a complex and different password for each of your IoT gadgets and update these passwords at regular intervals.
  • Update the device firmware whenever available. You should also keep a tab on other IoT gadgets and update/patch each of them.
  • Install a firewall in front of your network and configure it properly to prevent unwanted traffic flow and block non-essential ports and services.
  • Block unwanted ports and disable non-essential services on your devices.
  • Filter both incoming and outgoing data traffic on all existing channels in the network.
  • Maintain a list of all external blacklisted IPs which can be provided by reputable threat intelligence providers such as K7 Security
  • Establish and maintain a vulnerability and patch management program.

Cyber Threat Monitor is a quarterly report which looks into the complex cybersecurity landscape in the country. It tracks all critical components of cybersecurity such as enterprise, mobile, Mac, Windows and Internet of Things (IoT), covering metros, Tier-1 and -2 regions.

Longjam Dineshwori

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