Many of us access the internet and our digital networks on a daily basis without giving too much thought to how our information and our systems are protecting our personal data. But, as our world becomes more and more connected, it makes sense to take a moment to think about our digital security and how we are protecting ourselves and our loved ones.
Some home automation products are single, stand-alone Internet of Things (IoT) devices, while others work as a home automation and security solution, bringing together multiple systems into the one user interface.
As you add to your digital portfolio, it pays to also strengthen your digital protection. Be aware of who might be capturing your personal data (and how) or trying to make their way into your personal digital space.
A weak link?
The nature of interconnected IoT devices means that if a device is poorly secured then it has the potential to affect the security of the rest of your system. Your smart doorbell for example, or your smart TV, may not have strong cybersecurity features, but because they are connected to your main router, someone who gains access to your network via your smart doorbell can then access the rest of your network as well. In this way, smart products can become the weak link in your cybersecurity defence.
So, how can you protect yourself from this type of risk, and what should you look out for in the first instance when considering implementing a smart home system?
Choose experience1. Choose a home automation system from a reputable supplier with experience in the market and ask what their security recommendations are. For example, Clipsal by Schneider Electric products and solutions follow a secure-by-design development lifecycle process that has been certified to comply with the world’s leading and most recognised cybersecurity standard (ISA/IEC 62443). This certification warrants that cybersecurity is considered in every phase of product development. To ensure new threats are also protected against, products and systems are updated often, with solutions evolving as new risks arise.
Default settings2. Always change the default credentials. For products that are mass-produced and used everywhere in the world, a hacker can easily find out the manufacturer’s default username and password for your IoT device and use that to access your network. Adding your own credentials will decrease the likelihood of an attack from an outsider.
Router considerations3. Consider your router. To keep your network secure, fix the entry points where a potential hacker will be looking. If your existing router doesn't offer strong security options, then it might be time to replace it. You might also want to look at whether your router offers multiple networks, so you can keep separate networks for your IoT devices that might not have strong security protocols. Talk to your Internet Service Provider to check this.
Smart homes can offer greater security
If you keep your residential automation systems updated with the latest security software, ensure you change the default settings, and give thought to your router gateway, then a home automation installation can be used to help to improve the security of your home.
A smart home automation and security system can be used to help ensure all windows and doors are shut when you are not home. It can also be used to fool would-be intruders into thinking that someone is at home, even when you may be away for an extended time. For example, you can use your smart home system to turn lights on and off on a schedule, or via an app with remote access. You can also open and close connected blinds to give the impression that someone is home when you are away.
All in all, it pays to purchase connected devices and smart home solutions from trusted manufacturers who have the experience, knowledge and credentials to ensure your devices are safe.
Electric Home Design Magazine
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