Internet of Things and Smart Home vulnerabilities

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Smart Home and home automation are becoming increasingly popular, but what happens when your Smart lights or Smart thermostat are hacked?

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is in its early stages, despite being talked about by industry professionals since the late 80’s, and this sadly means there are teething problems in regards to security.

IoT devices collect and store a lot of data, as well as being connected to other IoT within the home; some devices, like smart baby monitors, have already been hacked.

For the most part IoT hasn’t had much attention from hackers, as there isn’t much return on hacking IoT at the moment.

This doesn’t mean that Internet of Things is immune to cyberattacks, but as soon as there could be financial benefits to hacking Smart homes, IoT will be vulnerable.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, explains just how safe we are as IoT becomes rapidly more common in the home.

“There are definitely concerns with IoT, and indeed such ventures like Smart Meters.

“As more of our devices are linked and our digital lives are woven into that technology, the concern is of course the ability for one device to compromise others or indeed your own home network.

“Connected in your own home, within the safety of your secure network, is one thing but as soon as you make those devices available when you are out of that environment, whether by design or remote management then things could go wrong if security measures are not followed.

“Of course some companies will do more to keep your data safe, and before you decide to venture into the world of connected devices you should seriously look at how the company values your online safety.

“It’s good to remember that you’re only as secure as your weakest link, so try wherever possible to read reviews about not only the company supplying the device but also the device itself.

“Other users are a great source of very valuable information about the ease of use and interconnectivity, but also about possible vulnerabilities and what to look out for.

“Regardless of the device, always ensure you change the password from its default and if possible the username as well. Never ever leave the default password in place even if you think it’s currently safe from attack.

“Keep a close eye on the manufacturers website for any updates to your devices and apply them as soon as available. Once you purchase the device you take ownership of any security issues, but a good company should adapt and update devices if vulnerabilities are found.

“With so many options available ranging in cost, you should always balance well-known brands, current models and cost rather than listing them in “Price – Lowest” and choosing the top one.

“The few pounds you may save will not seem worth it if you get compromised with malware, identity theft or even worse complications with your electricity, water or gas supplies.

“We will see an influx of cheaper integrated devices aimed at the budget market that are quite capable of doing the job, but ultimately it comes down to whether security or cost is most important for you.”


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