As we pointed out last week, there are growing concerns over the safety of connected cars as our vehicles become more and more dependent on their electrical, internet enabled components.
But what about our homes? The last few years have seen a huge increase in the number of digital, internet enabled devices to make our domestic lives as easy as possible.
It’s not difficult to imagine how a malicious party could misuse remote door unlocking, but flushing your toilet? Can that really do any harm? As amusing as it may seem, the BBC reported earlier in August that Japanese smart toilet makers Satis have discovered a security flaw in their software, allowing criminals to run up huge water bills for their victims.
With new tech comes new threats
For centuries people have been building homes that give them functionality but also protection. Doors make it easy for us to get in and out of our homes, but could let criminals in, so we protect them with locks and keys.
We need to adopt a similar approach with the modern, connected home. Just as smart, internet enabled devices will make our domestic lives more simple and stress free, so too do they open up new opportunities for malevolent souls.
No longer do criminals actually need to break into our physical property to take our valuables, and we must respond as we have always done- by taking the necessary precautions.
The security of wireless home networks will be as important as ever, given that it could hold the key to controlling most connected devices in the home.
As important will be product side security. If your smartphone can control your garage door, your light switches and your fireplace, then you better make sure that you’ve taken steps to make sure it is secure. This can be as easy as installing a free security app.
What does the future hold?
In the future, the number of connected devices in our homes is only going to increase as every device from fridges to weighing scales start to quantify and upload the minutiae of our lives into the cloud.
As a security expert it’s not my job to hinder or slow down this transition but instead to act as a safety advisor to ensure that people don’t get more than they bargain for when dealing with the internet.
For example, many people don’t fully appreciate just how much of their personal information they share online via social networks. Now extrapolate that across a home in which people are communicating every aspect of their lives over the net.
What they eat, how long they sleep, when their homes are empty, what channels they watch and how long they spend in the shower.
Much like we don’t fully take advantage of connected technology in all aspects of our lives, the day is young and it’s worth remembering that we don’t fully understand the social and security impacts either.