Smart Homes Are the Future. What Kind of Security Risks Do They Pose and How to Secure Them?
Smart homes help us live a more comfortable life and they solve a lot of problems that would needlessly take up much of our time. We will never have to worry again about leaving the iron on or about the possibility of a flood because of the bath tap we forgot to turn off. We can control and monitor everything in our household even when we’re far away. It’s obvious that there will be millions of people getting smart homes in the following years. But are they safe from hackers? And how do we protect them from cyberattacks?
The term “smart home” pops up more and more often. Not only are our phones, tablets, computers, or watches smart, but even our appliances like fridges or dishwashers are smart now. We can control our home from a distance – even when it comes to devices such as security cameras. Smart homes even allow us to monitor air pollution around our household and in real-time. It can also notify us that we are running out of milk or that our clothes have been washed and it’s time to hang them on a dryer.
Long story short, a smart home makes your life more comfortable. After all, imagine that you come home, ask for your favorite song and hear it immediately because the house hears you. It listens to you.
What exactly is this smart home though and how does it work? What kind of smart homes can we get? And most importantly: What kind of security risks come along with it? And how can you secure it the best?
What is it?
Smart homes use devices that are connected to the Internet. This might include individual appliances such as coffee machines or microwaves. More sophisticated smart homes use a single controller, which controls everything from thermoregulation through monitoring of air pollution to streaming your security camera footage outside your house.
Smart homes use an internet protocol that is connected to a smart hub. That is either your phone or even a router of that specific network through which you can control for example doors of your garage. The important thing is that the individual devices are connected to each other. It is called the “Internet of Things” and it’s become a very important topic.
Smart homes are a trend with a progressive tendency. According to the server Investopedia, it is expected that in 2025, more than 77 million Americans will live in one.
What makes it new?
In comparison with, for example, a TV controller, these devices collect data and information about how we use them to determine our habits like media consumption or the way we prepare our dinner, and what kind of food we like to cook. It’s similar to social media algorithms or the ones used on streaming platforms such as Spotify or Netflix. They gather your data to make your user experience as perfect as possible, to offer you the kind of content that suits your preferences. Because of this, our smart homes continually learn our personal preferences and our life routines. Our smart home is more and more automated, and it requires less of our own control. After some time, it does everything the way we would want it to do on its own.
These data are not only collected but also stored in a database. That is one of the reasons why our smart homes are a common target for cyber-attacks. Every device we connect to it also increases the risk of the attack simply because it means there's more valuable data that the attackers can gather from you. That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it to have a smart home. Precisely the opposite. Just like with any other convenience of today's world, it’s great to have it, but it’s necessary to be careful while using it and think about what could go wrong.
How does Whalebone secure your smart home?
Whalebone offers you the kind of security which is a perfect fit for smart homes. Our products offer network-level security, which means that we take care of your safety online right on the level of the network to which you are connected. It’s often impossible to install any sort of end-point clients to smart appliances, which makes our products the perfect choice for the protection of smart homes. The main advantage is that you don’t have to secure individual devices in your home. All the devices connected to the network will be protected.
We offer our products to nationwide Telcos, regional ISP (Internet Service Providers), and enterprises. Our DNS resolution has a security layer, which blocks a variety of threats. For example, if you want to connect to an unsafe internet link, Whalebone will seamlessly and instantly go through our extensive database and if it will evaluate it as potentially dangerous, it won’t let the user go there.
To sum up, smart homes are the future of living. There’s no doubt about it today. More and more people will get them in the years to come. There are undoubtedly lots of advantages to this. On the other hand, it’s necessary to keep in mind threats related to it and make sure our smart homes are sufficiently protected.