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20 Apr

The Home Security Risks of the Internet of Things

It wasn't too long ago that cyber crime was limited to information theft. However, because of the Internet of Things (IoT), tangible goods in the home are increasingly targeted by hackers and those who employ them. Although some people fully embrace the IoT and thoroughly enjoy the perks of a smart home, others adopt the technology piecemeal because of more pragmatic reasons.

For example, smart door locks offer convenience and peace of mind for those who forget to lock their doors when leaving home. The same is true of smart garage door openers that permit remote closing and locking. Guests can be allowed inside a home before the arrival of its owner. These conveniences are just a small sampling of how the IoT makes life easier.

Unfortunately, the cyber security aspect of IoT devices lag that of home computers and mobile devices with Internet access. Home IoT devices may not enforce strong password usage and may even allow indefinite use of their default passwords. They're also more likely to be vulnerable to crude brute force password guessing techniques. Criminals can buy these smart devices, install backdoor software, and then return them to the store where they're purchased by innocent consumers. Compromised devices of this kind can also be sold through popular and trusted auction websites.

Smart home devices need not be limited to door openers and locks to place a home at risk. Seemingly innocuous smart devices, such as thermostats, allow entry to the home network if they're easily hacked or are compromised. Once the hacker gains entry to the home network, all connected devices, such as smart door locks, garage door openers, as well as home security and surveillance systems, are exposed to cyber attack.

Unlocked doors and disabled security systems make the home vulnerable to burglary. The more smart devices in the home, the greater the odds that at least one of them will have a security flaw. More smart devices increase the likelihood that the homeowner will become lax in ensuring that all have strong passwords and up-to-date software.

Because cyber security is an ongoing process, busy homeowners may soon outsource cyber home security maintenance to professionals, much like businesses often do today. For more information on the Internet of Things and their security implications, contact our team today.

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