Sensors and controls in all sorts of devices, smart devices, opens the door to new dangers and threats. The devices that are creating 'smart homes' are giving residents unprecedented control and insight but also allowing for hackers to gain access to that thing they are trying to protect.
"The same technology that enables us to build these quite complex devices also creates the potential for security vulnerabilities," said Brandon Creighton of security provider Veracode. "And the vulnerabilities will inevitably be found."
It is practically impossible to stop a determined professional hacker, but with some easy steps you can at least make their task more difficult and it may discourage the simpler attacks.
1. Be aware of the date each device can capture. Whenever you deploy something with sensors in your home you are raising your risk of unauthorized access. If you have cameras make sure they are only pointing to what you want to have monitored.
2. Make the most of your device's security features. Do not set up your system with the default configurations it came with. You need to change every default password and if the system allows make it a strong password using upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols.
3. Keep your networks separate. Network segmentation is an important step. Give each network a separate password and don't run all your systems off the same device.
4. Hide your network. Do all you can to make your wireless router invisible. This really can be done by just about anyone.
5. Be careful about who handles your devices. Do not let unauthorized personnel touch your system. Watch out for scammers who offer to fix or improve your devices.
6. Keep an eye on your bills. Monitor your meter readings regularly and compare them to your bill.
7. Take standard internet precautions. Do not leave the remote access open on a shared computer. Smart devices often provide a web based method of remote access, turn that functionality on when you need it then turn it back off.
These are not fool proof methods that can guarantee your connected home's security, there just aren't any. Basic steps can be taken within the technological reach of the average user that can help deter the unskilled hacker.