The onset of smart devices in today’s fast-paced world has revamped the current reality of everyone’s home lives. Leaning towards a smart home while having an ease of comfort in handling every day’s household works with just a touch of your fingers or by voicing your commands, has set the standards of people’s perception of living comfortably to a whole new level.
Whether it is a simple task of switching ON/OFF of fans, lights, etc. or making your coffee ready for when you get up or getting your oven ready to heat your dinner up for when you get home, everything can be now controlled with just a simple touch while you’re away from home with the help of your smartphone.
A smart connected home can make one’s life easier and more enjoyable. However, like every coin possesses two opposite sides, the flip side of this easy living comes with a downside too. Usage of these smart devices or, IoT also means that your fridge, coffee machine, heating system, as well as your security system all store personal data. Every connected IoT device is a data collector in its own right.
Once we connect our home systems to the internet, we are opening it up to a world of hackers that poses varied numbers of Smart Devices Security Risks.
To get a better understanding of Smart Devices Security Risks as well as what countermeasures should be taken to avert these risks, let’s first explore how these smart devices work and why do they need security in the first place.
How does a Smart Home Works?
Smart homes typically use smart devices to connect to the internet and possess small computers embedded that allow them to be remotely controlled.
The thing separating them from our traditional TV remote is that they use internet protocol to link up, while they are all connected through a common hub. That might be one’s home network router or one’s smartphone.
Unlike those simple TV remotes, these smart devices can collect and store data once we use that are based on our habits, and preferences, either on the device or on the network.
All that data stored makes one’s Smart Devices Security Risks to rise at a n exponential level.
Smart Devices Security Risks and Potential Threats
Since the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is so fast, there’s a lot of pressure on manufacturers to use this opportunity to introduce as many products on the market as they can.
Due to this mad dash to satisfy these growing demands, some devices are rushed out without getting adequate attention to their Smart Devices Security Risks issues.
This, in turn, allow hackers to be quite busy exploiting this crack in the vulnerability as new threats are always emerging, so a brand new two monthly old security camera or even a six-month-old smart TV could possess a well-known vulnerability.
With so many cases of hackers managing to control webcams, cameras on laptops, and even baby monitors, it is quite disconcerting to imagine the consequences of these vulnerabilities in Smart Devices Security Risks. Apart from hacking into one’s security system, a cybercriminal could also:
- Access one’s heating and lighting systems to find out if the residents are away from home.
- Access one’s passwords or even our bank account details through the information we shared with any digital assistant like Amazon Echo.
- Get into one’s network through any smart device and attack ransomware making one’s IoT smart home unusable unless one pays up are some of the most common Smart Devices Security Risks we have witnessed so far.
Countermeasures to Smart Devices Security Risks
Don’t get spooked after hearing so many drastic Smart Devices Security Risks consequences, as every issue possess a solution. Since every technology comes with its own set of risks, we have to be extra cautious while using these smart devices to prevent any leak of data from our side. These include:
- Using the screen lock on one’s smartphone to ensure no privacy risk is exposed in one’s absence.
- Ensure all computers and smartphones are always password protected with strong passwords that are difficult to crack.
- Make sure that we don’t use the main computer account as an administrator or root level. Since if a hacker gets in, this will limit what they can do to our system since they won’t have administrator privileges.
- Use WPA authentication to create a secure network.
- Use some secure firewalls on any computer and one’s router.
- If the given router doesn’t offer us good security features, replace it with one that does.
- Ensure strong security software to be available on one’s computers and smartphones to avoid installation of malware or infection by viruses.
- Always try to run security patches and updates to keep one’s software up to date.
Security is one thing that always depends on the user’s capability. With new smart products being created all the time, Smart Devices Security Risks are one thing that should not be underestimated.
Despite having the potential to deliver incredible control, smart devices usage is always up to us as every technology is a double-edged sword that should be leveraged effectively and cautiously.