Smart homes are everywhere- all the new appliances and gadgets in the market today are taking the idea of a ‘connected’ home farther. Smart and automated homes are also turning from nerd-fantasy to real-life examples of exuberance and comfort supported by technology. However, when we talk about this industry, we also find a looming threat of security breach ready to alter the course of our lives.
There are a few issues in dire need of redressal when it comes to smart homes. First off, we need to focus on privacy. The incredible amount of personal data stored in these devices means that people could be at a real threat of being watched. Several smart devices now come with video and audio recording facilities that could be hacked into. In addition to this, data like preferences of an individual, his diet, his lifestyle, etc. could now be ‘available’ for the hackers to use.
We must note that most smart devices remain connected to the internet all the time and can send or receive data from other devices with ease. In turn, they are also connected to a mobile device, that acts as a master key to all the data stored in every device. A hacker can easily breach into one device and then infect the others. He can also breach the mobile device where information from all other devices is collected. Worse so, he can hack into a WIFI network shared by all devices.
Malware, hacking attacks, and even cryptojacking attacks are becoming common in our internet-connected devices these days. For instance, 90% of Android TVs are vulnerable to security breaches. Anyone can gain control of what you watch on TV, gather your personal information or even use your device to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. That certainly isn’t a pleasant situation.
Another global threat that has been growing at an unprecedented rate since 2017 is ransomware. Hackers gain control of your device, lock the files and then ask for big payments, often in digital currencies, for releasing your system. WannaCry ransomware attack last year was a staggering example of this situation.
But does this mean that threat could also be personalized in the age of smart homes? Sure, it can be. The Nigerian Prince email scam can now come with your real name and even get demographically targeted towards you.
Does that mean there is no recoil?
Smart homes are still in their very nascent stages, and the technology around these devices is developing rapidly. This helps in keeping devices secure and removing any personally identifiable data from the information pool that could be used against the customers. In addition to this, there could be higher standards of security in the industry that will be witnessed as more uses cases of this technology are revealed.
Overall, there is no harm in using smart devices in your home or office. However, it would be worthwhile to ensure that only those devices that keep security first are bought. This could keep the threats away from you.