The automated and connected home of tomorrow is now here. It’s only a matter of time before millions become accustomed it.
In the near future, people will be going home every day to the sound of the porch CCTV camera, whirring around to capture whoever is at the front door. Soon, smart door locks and motion sensors will be staples for home security. Smart television sets will be able to easily record videos and photos for direct upload on the Internet. Smart refrigerators can keep health-conscious people on strict diets and even schedule payments for missing groceries.
With the promise of Internet-connected homes and appliances is the promise of convenience and usability. However, this also opens a vast array of possibilities for cybercriminals, because wherever money and mass appeal is, they're sure to follow.
Should the adoption of connected and automated devices rise in numbers—a positive sign for the now-trending Internet of Everything concept—security flaws are sure to rise as well. We have seen this happen with desktops and mobile devices. These security issues may either come from flaws in the appliances themselves, from the process by which security issues are fixed, or from human errors and lapses in security judgment.
It's important for people to assess the pros and cons of running an automated home. While using CCTV cameras, motion sensors, smart door locks, and other security devices may be a convenient way to improve security, it can also be a gateway for hackers to see what everyone’s doing inside one’s home.
A smart TVs with a built-in camera and microphone may provide users convenient personalized settings, but it can let cybercriminals grab media and spy on them without their knowledge. Installing computer systems in cars may make it easier for car owners to update vital but tedious system controls, yet it can also expose them to the risk of sabotage by ill-intentioned hackers. Even smart refrigerators with online shopping options can be one way for data stealers to get their hands on people’s banking information.
Learning more about the different scenarios a smart home can be attacked is key to the safe exploration and use of the devices that make up the automated home of tomorrow.
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