Every once in a while some new proof of concept is released in the IoT sector promising to make our lives better. But along comes a hacker who proves how unreliable the entire system is. In this sense, not only the smart home but the internet of things in general still has a lot to accomplish, especially in the security sector.
It’s safe to say we’re not there yet, judging from the high number of security fails we’ve witnessed. Let’s take a minute to remember the accident causing self-driving cars soon to turn into self-driving taxis, the smart socket, the smart diaphragm and the pet feeder that left hundreds of pets hungry when the servers went down. We shouldn’t forget about the smart doorbell that sent one homeowner’s front door video footage to a complete stranger or the most recent event described on reddit, when a user’s front door was unlocked by his neighbor via vocal command due to a Siri setup gone wrong.
Why do connected devices present so many privacy and security risks? Probably because any wireless device can be hacked nowadays. In spite of the industry’s boundless potential, no one can actually vouch for its security. No device or infrastructure is 100 percent secure. Introduce one careless user and you’re set. Aside from lacking a serious international security policy, manufacturers don’t even build products with security in mind. Now this is something engineers can work on in the future.
As consumers, there’s not much we can actually do about internet of things security. However, we can learn to behave more safely online by implementing a security solution that protects all our connected devices 24/7, restrict user access to our home network and make sure no outsiders are connected to it, always run security and software updates, and simply use good judgement when online.