Information Security

Why your smart home needs cyber security

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Smart home security

No matter how advanced our homes are, security remains a priority. Whether it’s locking doors or turning on an alarm, homeowners have protected their homes for as long as people have built them. And, like all things humans create, homes become more complex over time, enhanced by technological progress. With some homes able to automatically control temperatures, link to home owners on smartphone apps and deliver on a range of other functions, homes have definitely become “smart”. And just as homes have become more sophisticated, so the methods needed to protect them have followed suit. This means cyber security is no longer strictly for computer systems but entire homes, too.

Related: The pros and cons of smart homes

Let’s consider what cyber security means for the modern, smart home.

Drones in the home

One of the most sophisticated examples of cyber security protection for the smart home involves the use of drones. Charmingly known as the Sunflower Home Awareness System, it “combines outdoor sensors with an aerial camera for a complete view of what’s going on around your home.” The main aspect of this system is the interaction between advanced sensors you place around the smart home and a drone deployed to investigate detected anomalies. The drone sends live feedback to the user, who can then respond.

Apple Homekit

An interconnected system like this is of course the basis of the Internet of Things (IoT). Devices connected and communicating with each other, via an internet connection, can deliver on incredibly sophisticated tasks. The Apple Homekit aims to streamline many actions by connecting devices to one account, one network and one hub. In terms of smart home security that works with Apple’s network, the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt is the most popular. This is a lock that, once connected, can be locked and unlocked with a smartphone app. Also, due to operating on Apple’s systems, you can control it using your voice thanks to Siri. This is the embodiment of living in a smart home.

The dangers of being connected

But being connected also means opening up an avenue for cyber crime. In other words, while you can use interconnected systems to monitor and secure the home, you need cyber security to monitor these systems.

It sounds ironic that security systems themselves need security, but too few recognize the dangers posed by cyber criminals using such devices. Leonard Kleinrock, a UCLA professor of computer science, told CNBC: “Security has not been a prime focus on many [IoT] devices and organizations that put these out helter-skelter. … In many cases they're not adjusting to security concerns.”

While it’s certainly incredible to live in an age when such tech exists, no one should overlook the dangers arising. Indeed, as we've highlighted in a recent article, data breaches affect everyone – from major corporations to the average email user. Everyone ought to concern themselves with cyber security, in an age where connectivity is everything.

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