How Many IP Addressable Devices Do You Have at Home or Your Small Business? Do You Know the Risk?

Morey Haber, Chief Technology Officer
April 25th, 2018

I am a geek. I have no issues admitting it. Excluding my home office lab, I have 63 devices connected in my home that are IP addressable and on the same subnet. My home devices include cameras, TV’s, iPads, Apple TV’s, Sonos, HomeRun IP TV, NAS, personal assistants, etc., and I am constantly adding more.

If you consider that a typical home router only serves a single class C subnet (253 addresses maximum – excluding the router’s address and .255 broadcasts), it is only a matter of time before I have too many devices in my home. Even though I am using only 25% of the addressable space in my home, the more tech I add, the greater the risks and the larger the attack surface. Each device uses bandwidth, requires updates, has different management tools, and reflects the problems with consumer IoT threats of which we should be aware. Unfortunately, there is no clear solution yet to this problem, but for technology-savvy individuals, there is a way to improve visibility into and awareness of the potential threats at home and for your small business.

First, I would like to introduce you to Retina and the Retina Community Edition. The latter is a free tool that can be used to perform a vulnerability assessment on your home (up to 255 addresses) or small business and discover all your devices, classify them, and report on known vulnerabilities. If you can document the potential threat, you can formulate a basic remediation plan, like updating a camera’s firmware or running Windows Update. If nothing else, you would understand the risks for all the devices connected to your network. Below is an example report from Retina.

Now, consider your small business. It is much like your home network, but probably will have more workstations, laptops, and maybe even a server. It also likely has some IoT devices. It’s likely that your business has more vulnerabilities than a typical home network, and depending on your business, you may even have a legal obligation to fix vulnerabilities. This is where Retina can also help. The Retina  Unlimited Edition is a version that allows unlimited scanning and reporting, enabling you to find these flaws in your small business and build a remediation plan. This includes documenting what patches to apply, security updates that are required, and providing regulatory reporting, including PCI DSS self-assessment compliance reports.

If you consider that the number of devices at home and in your small business is growing every year, we will need to be more diligent than ever to stop the next cyber attack. And yes, your home or small business can be a victim too. For more information on how BeyondTrust can help, contact us today.

Morey Haber, Chief Technology Officer

With more than 20 years of IT industry experience and author of Privileged Attack Vectors, Mr. Haber joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition. He currently oversees BeyondTrust technology for both vulnerability and privileged access management solutions. In 2004, Mr. Haber joined eEye as the Director of Security Engineering and was responsible for strategic business discussions and vulnerability management architectures in Fortune 500 clients. Prior to eEye, he was a Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. (CA), responsible for new product beta cycles and named customer accounts. Mr. Haber began his career as a Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.