Comcast released its Xfinity Cyber Health Report that found that more than three in four Americans (78 percent) report risky online behaviors that open them up to cyber threats, such as reusing or sharing passwords, skipping software updates and more – a 14 percent increase from just two years ago.
The report combines data from a new consumer survey with national threat data collected by Xfinity’s xFi Advanced Security platform.
Advanced Security, which is free for Xfinity customers who lease a capable Xfinity gateway, has blocked nearly 10 billion cybersecurity threats since it launched less than five years ago.
"This holiday season consumers are purchasing and connecting more devices to their home networks than ever before,” said Noopur Davis, EVP, Chief Information Security Officer and Product Privacy Officer, Comcast. “With this influx of devices comes an influx of cybersecurity risk.”
The Xfinity Cyber Health Report analyzes cyber threat trends, the growing list of devices in connected homes, and a view into consumers’ attitudes and behaviors around cyber protection. Key findings include:
- Connected Homes Are Expanding. So is Attack Volume: Xfinity xFi homes average 15 connected devices, up 25 percent from 2020. Power users average 34 devices. And, 58 percent of consumers plan to buy at least one connected device this holiday season. xFi Advanced Security blocks an average of 23 unique threats per home each month – with the total number of attacks at least three-to-four times that number, since many attacks are repeated.
- Consumers Still Underestimate Threats: Nearly three fourths (74 percent) of Americans believe less than 10 attacks hit their home network every month. 61 percent believe devices are protected from threats right out-of-the-box at purchase. This leaves many new devices open to potential threats without protection.
- Consumers Unsure They’d Know They’ve Been Hacked: When asked how soon they would know whether they were a victim of a cyberattack, only 20 percent said immediately. Another 32 percent said they aren’t sure they’d ever know if they were a victim of a cyberattack. And, 51 percent of respondents noted they are not confident that they would know if a non-screen device was hacked, such as a robot vacuum or a smart plug.
- Emerging Device Vulnerabilities Misunderstood: Computers and smartphones remain the top two targeted devices consistent with findings in 2020. While consumers recognize the risks associated with these two device types, they underestimate the risk with emerging devices in their homes. In fact, xFi Advanced Security blocked threats to smart watches, lighting, thermostats, doorbells, garage openers, sports and fitness equipment, sprinkler systems and even cars, drones and pet accessories.
- Generational Cyber Divide: 70 percent of Boomers admit to unsafe behaviors compared with Gen X (80 percent), Millennials (82 percent) and Gen Z (87 percent). Gen Z had the lowest awareness of common threats like phishing and malware. 77 percent of Millennials are likely to buy a connected device this holiday season, the most for any segment surveyed.
The 2022 Xfinity Cyber Health Report also includes insights from Asad Haque, Comcast’s Executive Director of Security Architecture, regarding connected home security with Matter and xPKI; a primer on Comcast’s threat analytics platform from David White, Vice President, Security Engineering at Comcast; the role of Comcast’s xGitGuardTM software in data privacy from Bahman Rashidi, Ph.D., Director, Cybersecurity & Privacy Engineering Research; and actionable tips for consumers on securing their connected home.
As the largest broadband provider in the U.S. serving more than 32 million internet customer households, Comcast’s xFi Advanced Security service protects home networks from cyber threats and is free to all internet customers with the xFi Gateway who sign in through the Xfinity app. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to monitor, analyze and block suspicious activity in real-time. To date, xFi Advanced Security has blocked nearly 10 billion cybersecurity threats. To activate this service, Xfinity xFi customers can log onto the Xfinity app and enable xFi Advanced Security.
About the Survey
The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, polled 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older in November 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.
For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.