Addicted to tech: the security of your smart homes

Addicted to tech Smart Homes threat
Addicted to tech Smart Homes threat

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Smart Homes have become an integral part of our lives. They offer convenience, energy efficiency and improved quality of life for residents. However, the rapid increase of interconnected devices and automation in our homes has also raised security concerns.

Smart Homes are residences that use various smart devices – such as smart locks, thermostats, cameras and voice assistants – which are connected to the Internet and controlled remotely via smartphones and voice commands. While this level of connectivity brings numerous benefits, it also introduces vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

As our homes become more technically advanced/connected, safeguarding them from potential threats becomes paramount. The residential landscape has changed dramatically thanks to IoT (Internet of Things) devices and hybrid working in recent years.

The most common cyber-attacks include:

1. Device hijacking

2. Data breaches/identity theft

3. Denial of service (DoS): shut down devices/networks by overloading with false requests

4. Man-in-the-middle: intercepts/modifies data, allowing criminals to steal info/send harmful code

5. Phlashing: attacks that damage devices so severely they need to be replaced/reinstalled

Valkyrie’s Gurpreet Thathy advises: “Consider the cybersecurity requirements as a key component in all phases of smart home development – from design and build to fit out and upkeep. THINK cybersecurity by design and future proof for the long-term.”

To do this, it’s essential to take a step back and look at the strategic ‘bigger picture’ position of implementing security. We encourage our clients to consider the following:

1. What is the threat level to you/your family

2. What you need, especially in terms of devices with cameras/microphones

3. What key personnel to be involved/have access

4. Device selection/vendor research

5. How to update all applicable infrastructure

Knowing the threats and planning ahead of any implementation is key within the security industry. Many consumers are purchasing smart tech for the sake of having tech. Consider your comfort level when balancing convenience with security and privacy. A security camera might offer protection, but are you okay with footage being uploaded to the Internet? Consider what you need from your home technology and where privacy trumps convenience.

Remember, more tech can lead to more vulnerabilities for you, your business, your family, your reputation, and your privacy. Planning for these devices within your Smart Home is as essential as having the latest tech.

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