Thursday, February 9, 2017

Is Your Home Smart? Start Working On Your Network Security

We are only a button away from controlling our homes or, more correctly, just a fingerprint or voice control away. Smart water valves and thermostats, home controllers, fancy door locks, switches, plugs, light bulbs, alarms and surveillance systems, baby monitors, toys, fridges and even pet feeders are among the many devices that communicate with each other via internet.

This communication, though, is not always encrypted, which makes room for DDoS and man-in-the-middle attacks.

At the top of the list for manufacturers, consumer smart devices make up a fast growing sector. Some 5.2 billion units will be in use in 2017, according to Gartner analysts, accounting for 63 percent of the total number of devices.

“Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses,” said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner.

The smart home is real – it’s no longer an image of the future. But how many users are aware their homes fit the pattern? Many are confused as to whether they live in a smart home and disoriented in general when talking about smart homes and the internet of things, found a recent Bitdefender study.

“On average, a household from the United States carries 13 smart devices or accessories,” the study says. “There are 12 in the UK and Australia, and 10 in France, Romania and Germany.”

This is fantastic news, except users are a bit unsure when questioned about the smart home concept. Globally speaking, users in the US and France are more up to date on the smart home concept. Still, only 30% of US smart home residents and 20% of those in France are aware they live in a smart home. Those in the UK, Romania and Australia are even less aware of their connected ecosystem, the study found. The most prevalent devices were smartphones, computers and tablets, smart TVs and wireless gaming consoles.

Author: Luana PASCU

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