Dealing with Rogue Devices: How to Detect them Early and Prevent a Security Disaster

Rogue Devices

The phrase “Going rogue” evokes a sense of reckless abandon and adventure in many scenarios – but not in the case of your network. When it comes to IT infrastructure, “rogue” means dangerous.

In this increasingly digital era, where wireless devices are commonplace in the home and at work, bad actors are planting rogue devices on networks for malicious purposes. What’s a rogue device? Any wireless device that is connected to a network without permission. Rogue devices are used to steal information or disrupt network operations – and they often use malware to cause permanent damage. They may be access points such as routers or end-user devices such as phones, smart watches or laptops. They can even be IoT devices such as those found in the home – smart refrigerators, doorbells, or alarm systems, just to name a few. 

How do rogue devices gain access? They use a growing number of entry points and methods:

  • A misconfigured network device
  • Malicious USBs left lying around
  • Social engineering and phishing attacks that prompt accidental malware installs
  • Scam Wi-Fi hotspots that spoof trusted entities
  • Direct access to machines via stolen credentials
  • Unmonitored virtual machines that can be created and deleted at will

The list goes on. And with consumers and organizations increasingly reliant on a growing number of wireless devices, it’s getting easier and more common for bad actors to leverage these tactics. Once a rogue device successfully connects to a network, there’s no limit to the problems they can cause. To make matters worse, they only need to connect briefly in many cases to launch an attack.

More Devices in the Home Leaves Consumers Vulnerable to Attack

Modern consumers rely heavily on internet-connected devices for everything they do – from work to shopping, socializing, entertainment, fitness and more. Statista reports that in 2020, the average number of connected devices in the home in 2020 was 10, which means home networks have become increasingly complex. Managing all of those connected devices – everything from laptops and tablets to phones, watches, Fitbits and an exploding number of IoT appliances – has become critical to protecting personal information. 

Consumers aren’t the only ones having trouble managing their networks and the growing number of wireless devices attached to it. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote and hybrid work models mean more people are working from home than ever before and signing onto corporate networks with multiple – often unsecured – wireless devices. Enterprise IT teams have been scrambling to keep up, but detecting rogue devices using manual methods are ineffective. With so many unmonitored devices accessing the network, it’s often impossible for organizations to distinguish between an employee who is authorized to access network resources and a rogue device that poses a serious threat to corporate security.

For telecommunications companies, competitive advantage hinges on providing exceptional service, and one way to set themselves apart is by providing consumers the ability to not only manage their home networks effectively, but empowering them with tools to spot rogue devices and ward off malicious network activity. Telecom providers can help their customers mitigate the threat of rogue devices by embedding IT scanning and device recognition capabilities into their equipment, to automatically detect and recognize wireless devices that don’t belong on the network.

To that end, Lansweeper Embedded Technologies is working with major providers to integrate its market-leading Credential-Free Device Recognition (CDR) technology into their products.

Providing Complete Network Visibility at All Times

Lansweeper leverages patented device fingerprinting technology and advanced machine-learning techniques to identify and recognize all network-connected IT, OT and IoT in seconds – including rogue devices – even when they only connect to the network briefly. Working behind the scenes, it automatically and continually updates the IT asset inventory with the most complete and accurate device information based on a database of 900M+ uniquely identified devices. This information is then displayed to customers via intuitive dashboards, and alerts notify end-users when suspicious devices pop up.

Lansweeper’s solution works independent of context. It’s fully credential-less, which means it has no access to any privileged information on a user’s device. What’s more, it uses common network protocols, and it avoids deep scan and packet inspection, which would require additional hardware and software resources that drive up costs. 

With Lansweeper’s CDR technology, customers always have access to a complete, detailed list of all connected devices in the home, with the information they can use to investigate and troubleshoot network issues, such as data usage and signal strength. And if a rogue device infiltrates the network, they’ll know immediately and can isolate and disable it, before it does any damage.

Easy to Embed, Essential to Network Security

Lanswseeper’s CDR provides valuable data from limited information about all devices connected to the network – whether legitimate or rogue – empowering consumers and businesses to reduce the risk of a damaging data breach. The solution can be embedded into hardware or software products through cloud-based APIs or multi-platform SDKs. On-premises solutions are also available, for environments that need to be isolated from the external network.

Don’t leave your customers vulnerable to malicious rogue devices. Learn more about Lansweeper’s CDR technology today. Or, learn how Lansweeper provides its customers with total visibility and control over connected devices on their own networks.