Smart homes are no longer a thing of the future, they already exist, and, even better, they’re not that expensive. Most people in the United States have interacted with the Internet of Things (IoT) in some way. Whether that be through an Alexa, Google Home or Nest. All of this smart technology does make people’s lives easier, but at what cost? Are all of these smart home products actually make your home less secure?
In short: yes. Cyber security has been an issue for businesses and individuals alike for years. The reality is that anything connected to the internet is vulnerable to cyber attack. Can you control your lights from your phone? That means it’s possible for someone else to do the same.
Someone controlling your lights is annoying, not dangerous. But what if you use a smart lock on your front door? Suddenly someone could potentially unlock your home anytime you want.
Yes, it is true that something like a smart lock is usually more secure than a smart light. However, most people have all of their smart products on one home system. That’s why your Google Home can control everything. What that means is that someone could hack a part of your system that is less secure, like a light bulb or power outlet, and then use that to gain access to your entire smart home setup .
Associate professor Denys Poshyvanyk spoke with the Insurance Journal about this problem. “You can imagine the possible combinations of these kinds of attacks will obviously increase as we’ll have more interconnected devices,” said Poshyvanyk. “At this point, it’s hard for us to imagine what else people will do.”.
“We’re basically arguing that we need a systemic effort in terms of properly designing these systems with security in mind,” Poshyvanyk continued. “Because these problems will get worse with time. More devices will be added. (If) they’re not thinking about designing in security in the first place, we’re going to be having even bigger problems down the road.”.
Perhaps the most alarming part of this issue is that it doesn’t take a genius hacker to gain access to your smarthome. In fact, anyone who knows which programs to run can use that software to gain access to your smart products.
No one is arguing that smart devices are helpful, but they are a relatively new phenomenon. Naturally, that means that they are not as safe as they will be in the future. We are not advocating for forgoing smart-home products, but they do need to become more secure. This is an issue that is larger than one manufacture, the industry has a whole needs to come together to address these security concerns.