Internet Traffic Normalizes in 2021, Bitdefender Data Shows

Bitdefender Mac

One of the pandemic’s first effects was a sudden increase in traffic as people moved to home offices. But that switch also meant many people and companies were caught off guard in terms of security and general preparedness.

To work from home freely seems like an employee’s dream, but what’s not immediately apparent is that such a move would also increase the employee’s responsibility in ways difficult to anticipate.

Companies would also need to deploy the right technical solutions for such a drastic move. Unfortunately, the switch to work from home was so sudden, in many cases from one day to the next, that neither people nor companies were ready.

Traffic is returning to normal

Once people settled into their new “offices,” their internet traffic increased. People consumed more content at home, and companies had to find ways to improve the VPN bandwidth or figure out other technical solutions that permitted many workers to connect to the corporate infrastructure from anywhere in the world.

Surprisingly, people working from home also benefited from Bitdefender’s IoT Security Platform, which is already available on many smart devices. Many employees had their home networks protected from attacks and other issues, but the security solutions offered unique insight into internet traffic values.

MB / household
MB / Household

Bitdefender telemetry registered the most significant spike in traffic in December of last year and early January. That changed in the first half of 2021, with traffic values slowly dropping by the end of June 2021. There are two likely causes for this continuous drop.

First of all, some employees started to go back to the office, alleviating some of the pressure put on home networks. Secondly, botnets were responsible for a large part of the IoT traffic registered last year. With some of the larger botnets taken down in 2021, including Trickbot, internet traffic drops were expected.

It’s unclear how much internet traffic will oscillate by year’s end, but one thing is certain: Work from home is here to stay. While some people will choose to go back to the office, many will stay home, continuing to consume Internet traffic and settling into a new way of life.

You can find more details regarding the IoT threat landscape in our State of Smart Home Security in 2021 and Beyond report.