Safer than ever
The Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in a new wave of connectivity for smart devices, with applications and enhancements in virtually every aspect of today's infrastructure. Americans are adding an increasing array of these technologies to their homes, with convenience and ease-of-use benefits making them popular choices.
Comfy Living reports that of the estimated 175 million smart homes in the world, 63 million of those connected residences are right here in the U.S. From the latest smartphones to Bluetooth-connected toasters, these handy technologies are increasingly everywhere in today's society.
Can IoT make a difference when it comes to the security of the devices we're filling our homes with? Let's examine the vulnerabilities of today's smart homes, and look at measures to ramp up defenses.
Convenience at a cost?
Imagine having every device in your home in constant communication with one another. Today's IoT-powered devices have largely enabled this fantasy to become not only reality but routine, with everything from programmable lights to laundry machines making life at home a little easier than it may have been in generations past.
But smart home automation is not without a cost. With more devices sharing connectivity over a single network, Wi-Fi network vulnerability poses a significant threat from cybersecurity attacks. A hack to any of the devices shared across your home network gives the infiltrator access to all connected tech, from security cameras to automated door locking mechanisms.
In an article published on the Extreme Networks website, author Michael Rash outlined the risk botnet programs like Mirai pose to cybersecurity. Hackers looking to steal your data by attacking your routers or hijacking the power of connected devices in your home infiltrate the devices connected to your shared network.
Consolidating the security of your home's IoT-connected devices should be a priority. Here are some effective ways to protect your network:
Separate networks, shared solutions.
- Utilizing a separate network for IoT-powered smart devices under Guest or secondary network protocols ensures data stored on laptops and phones isn't accessible from a compromised toaster (for instance).
- Two-stage authorization for access granting onto a network or device may seem inconvenient. However, the use of a one-time pin or access code entered into devices logging on provides an additional layer of security for your home. Multifactor authentication (MFA) ensures your accounts are 99.9% less likely to be compromised, according to Microsoft's Alex Weinert.
Next-gen Wi-Fi provides enhanced safety solutions
- The firewalls built-in to most routers lack the ability to ward off malware, SSL/SSH interception and other security risks. Wi-Fi 6, the bleeding edge of connect-tech, offers enhanced security measures by supporting Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), which Tech Target claims have stronger authentication capabilities and better encryption tools than most current or last-gen technologies.
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