In previous articles, we discussed how complex personal privacy risks have become increasingly top of mind and why personal devices now require more sophisticated cybersecurity controls.

This is the third article in our four-part series on digital executive protection. It explores the cybersecurity and digital privacy risks to the home and how BlackCloak proactively reduces network security threats.

Home networks have always been at risk 

According to the United States Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), there is a common misconception that home networks are “too small to be at risk of a cyberattack.” Perhaps true 10-15 years ago, CISA points out that presently:

“Most attacks are not personal in nature and can occur on any type of network—big or small, home or business. If a network connects to the internet, it is inherently more vulnerable and susceptible to outside threats.”

Cybercriminals recognize that most often it will be significantly less difficult for them to exploit vulnerable home networks and move laterally into an organization then it would be for them to attack a well-guarded corporate network from the outside looking in.

The pandemic put a bullseye on home networks 

The rise in permanent remote and hybrid work has amplified threats to home networks. According to a Comcast report, households are now targeted with 104 threats each month, on average.

When networks are under CISO control, organizations typically have a solid grip over threats and vulnerabilities stemming from unsecured WiFi, unpatched routers, outdated software, and firewall misconfigurations. But when employees are outside of the corporate perimeter, risks intensify.

Tenable and Forrester report that “71% of security leaders lack sufficient visibility into remote employee home networks.”

IoT adoption has only intensified the risks to the home

The proliferation of consumer Internet of Things (IoT) devices has also introduced new network security risks to the household. According to Deloitte, the average household now has more than 25 connected devices.

The size of the IoT attack surface presents a serious challenge to home network security. According to Fortinet, there are:

 “over one million new devices connecting to the internet each day. The result is a significant quantity of data moving freely between devices and across network environments, remote offices, mobile workers, and public clouds with minimal visibility, making it difficult to track and secure this data.” 

Security Scorecard argues that the threat of attacks originating from the channels that connect to IoT devices “presents serious threats to the security of the entire system and creates a potential for spoofing and Denial-of-Service (DDos) attacks. These threats and attacks lay the foundation for an unstable network surface.”

How we help protect your home networks from cyber attacks

Home networks are at heightened risk of brute force and man-in-middle attacks. This is primarily due to remote work and the influx of IoT. They are also at risk of communications eavesdropping and hijacking, and DDoS and malicious code injection. All of these attacks pose significant danger to our clients’ home networks.

BlackCloak performs weekly penetration testing and regular scans of your home networks to detect malware, botnets, and other security issues. We also help prevent decisions your children and family make online from resulting in a compromise.

Details of BlackCloak’s home network security features include:
  • BotNet Scanning of Homes  – We scan threat intelligence databases for your home IP address. This helps us determine if any devices inside the home have been or are currently communicating with known malware servers. We provide remediation whenever necessary.
  • Home Network Scans (Penetration Tests) – Each week, we provide external network penetration tests of the public IP address for your home network. We scan for open ports that make your devices accessible to the Internet (e.g., security cameras, home automation systems, routers, etc.), and thus vulnerable to compromise. We also help remediate any vulnerabilities in real-time as necessary.
  • WiFi Scanner – The BlackCloak app continuously analyzes network connectivity on mobile devices. This enables us to detect malicious WiFi hotspots that can breach your data and eavesdrop on your confidential communications. This is commonly known as man-in-the-middle attacks. You will receive real-time alerts whenever risky connections are established. These urgent notifications prompt you to immediately disconnect from a rogue network before the hacker can compromise your device.
  • Deception (Honeypot Technology) – By creating a fake service (often called a honeypot) within the BlackCloak application, we can distract potential attackers. The fake service is designed to be attractive and draw them to it when they first try to access your computer. It looks like an application that might house your sensitive data. The moment they scan it, we will detect them. Because it alerts us before they have a chance to take action, it gives us an early warning. This allows us to stay a step ahead of them before they can breach meaningful data.

Our final article in this series will discuss how we provide for peace of mind through a white-glove concierge experience. In the meantime, visit our blog to read a dozen articles on home network security risks and how to overcome them.