Research conducted by the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research indicates that the routers commonly found in homes are huge security vulnerabilities for consumers and their employers. The center's analysis shows that of 186 sampled routers, 155 (83%) were found vulnerable to potential cyberattacks.
The routers samples were from 13 different manufacturers, including Linksys, Belkin, Netgear, and D-Link. While 17% of the routers scanned were vulnerability-free, the report says that the remaining 83% of routers examined had, on average, 172 vulnerabilities.
Most of the vulnerabilities were in router firmware, according to the researchers, with the sheer number of vulnerabilities caused by a combination of a reliance on open source projects for code and a lack of vigorous patching and update policies on the part of the vendors.
"While protecting the network will always be a challenge, it becomes even more so with remote employees joining the organization's ranks," says Justin Jett, director of audit and compliance for Plixer, commenting on the report.
And the number of mobile workers is only going to rise. "Because these employees will be connecting to the office from their home router, IT professionals should monitor every conversation coming from these remote employees into the business," Jett adds. "Three-quarters of the workforce is a large surface area for malware to enter the organization, especially with 83% of home routers already giving access to hackers."