Earlier this year, Avast released a study stating that at least 79% of American home networks are at risk of a cyber security attack and more specifically, three out of four people are at risk of attack through their wireless router. If a router is not secure, a potential hacker has access to a plethora of information – including sensitive banking data and username/password combinations, just to name a few.
A big risk of lax router security is DNS hijacking, in which an unsuspecting individual logs in to what they think is a secure website, such as a financial institution, when it is actually redirecting a user to a malicious site controlled by hackers. Using this method, a hacker can hijack browser sessions and steal login credentials that can be used for other attacks.
More than half of all home routers are poorly protected by default or common, easily penetrable username/password combinations. Of the 2,000 individuals participating in the survey, 25 percent stated they use personally identifiable information as a password, such as name, phone number, street name, or other easily guessed phrases.
According to the security firm, less than half of Americans believe their home network is secure. Respondents of the survey were most concerned with their banking or financial information being stolen (42%) from cyber security attacks, with losing personal information (32%) not far behind.
Vincent Steckler, Avast CEO, says that today’s router security situation is very reminiscent of PCs in the 1990s, with lax attitudes towards securities combined with new vulnerabilities discovered every day creating an easily exploitable environment. Something needs to be done as router security is shockingly behind modern standards.
In today’s technologically advanced era, we are storing more sensitive information than ever on our mobile devices and tablets, As such, secure, encrypted wireless is more important than ever before. Connecting to WPA2-Enterprise and authenticating via 802.1x ensures all network traffic is safe and secure and prevents intruders from conducting a variety of malicious attacks.