Rapid advancements in technology are connecting more homes and, in turn, making them increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Now, a recent survey has demonstrated why connected individuals should avail of cyber insurance.
A survey commissioned by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) revealed that, in the US, eight out of 10 consumers have a home data network and more than a third of them connect their smart devices, appliances, and systems to the internet.
The survey also found that of the 81% of consumers who said they have a Wi-Fi or other home data network, 38% said they connect other electronic devices other than personal computers, smartphones, and tablets to the internet. These electronic devices range from smart entertainment systems and security cameras to thermostats, door locks, alarms, and lighting, among others.
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And although cyberattacks on home systems and smart appliances are still relatively uncommon, with only 10% of the respondents saying they were victims, the increasing connectivity of devices presents hackers and cyber thieves with a new platform from which to launch their attacks.
“Cyber criminals are always looking for new targets,” said Timothy Zeilman, VP and counsel for HSB, a member of Munich Re and a specialist insurer of data and information risks. “And home devices like smart TVs and appliances are often designed for easy use and not security. Compounding the problem, many consumers don’t take even basic measures such as changing default passwords and updating security software.”
Most non-physical damage on home devices, appliances, and systems were inflicted through viruses or other unwanted software on their systems (59%) and damage to software or operating systems (45%).
Damage caused by cyberattacks to home devices usually results in financial loss, with 88% of the victims spending money to respond, the survey showed. The losses could be hefty too, with 42% of the victims polled saying they spent between $1,000 and $5,000.
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