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Security Risks with Smart Homes You May Not Have Considered

October 18, 2018

FirstSourceUser

Smart homes are the wave of the future. As technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, more and more parts of your home will be connected. While this blanket of technology can be quite convenient, and in some cases can improve your overall home security, there are certain security risks that come with connecting your home to a network. Here are some security risks you may not have considered.

Security Risks with Smart Homes

Smart Home Security Attacks

Security threats continue to evolve, but these are some of the most commonly seen attacks today:

Man-in-the-Middle: In a man-in-the-middle attack, the attacker breaches or spoofs communications between two connected systems. For example, a man-in-the-middle attack might disable a smart air conditioner during a heat wave.

Data Theft: Smart devices tend to gather a great deal of personal information about their users. If not properly protected, this data can be accessed and exploited.

Device Hijacking: In device hijacking, the attacker takes control of a smart device, potentially gaining access to the entire network. This type of attack is tough to notice, because the devices continue to operate as normal—at least, until your front door is remotely opened to allow a burglar entry.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): Denial of service attacks temporarily or indefinitely disrupt servers, rendering connected devices useless. A distributed denial of service attack is difficult to halt, because it infects multiple devices at once, turning them into addition attack bots and further flooding the target from wildly different sources.

Permanent Denial of Service (PDoS): While distributed denial of service attacks can render infected devices useless for a long period of time, permanent denial of service attacks damage them permanently. For example, fake data fed to thermostats could cause them to overheat beyond repair.

Smart Home Security Measures

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that good smart home device manufacturers can protect your smart home against cyber attacks. These include, but are not limited to:

Secure Boot: Secure boot technology uses complex encryption to ensure that devices only execute code generated by trusted parties.

Mutual Authentication: Mutual authentication ensures that both the device and the network are legitimate before they begin exchanging data.

Encrypted Communication: Encryption prevents digital eavesdropping by ensuring that only the device and its cloud-based infrastructure can understand the transmitted data.

Security Monitoring: Your smart home’s network should use active security monitoring to log data such as connectivity traffic and analyze it to detect potential threats. When a threat is detected the system should automatically execute a security protocol such as quarantining a suspicious device.

Security Lifecycle Management: Your service providers and equipment manufacturers should be able to manually control device and network security as needed, such as to push replacement device keys during cyber disaster recovery. In addition, secure device decommissioning is needed to make sure scrapped devices cannot be exploited.

The lifecycle management feature allows service providers and OEMs to control the security

It is not necessary to become an expert in cyber security to safely use smart devices. However, it is important to be aware of basic cyber security threats to your smart home, and to choose device manufacturers and service providers who take security seriously. Always follow their instructions for keeping your home safe and protected.

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