Are Smart Homes Security Smart?

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Threat Landscape in the area of Smart Homes, is the focus of a new study by ENISA that is looking at the risks and challenges as well as the countermeasures required for emerging technologies in smart homes.

Cyber criminals are identified as the largest and most hostile threat category, while the potential abuse of smart homes should be considered high with the increasing number of smart devices and homes and particularly converged media. Economic factors generate security vulnerabilities, while design choices are competing against cost and convenience.

Many of the risks will be of a socio-technical type due to the depth and variety of personal information that can be captured and processed. The interests of different asset owners in the smart home are not necessarily aligned and may even be in conflict, making security even more difficult.

Converged media devices are likely to be some of the first consumer smart home devices introduced to many homes. It is that converged media that raises security issues with connectivity, functionality, incompatibility, privacy issues and copyright access.

Not all smart homes are created equal due to the multiple pathways they can take. Good practices in the sector involve the design of the smart home as a system. Approaches referred to as smart grids may prove to be applicable in the smart home context.

"The smart home is a point of intense contact between networked information technology and physical space, and therefore brings together security risks from both the virtual and the physical contexts," said Udo Helmbrecht. "Identifying cyber threats is crucial for the protection of the smart home and is therefore a key element in ensuring its successful deployment."

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