What's the Risk in a Smart Home

 The latest technologies bring tremendous convenience and value …

By 2020, There will be an average of 50 connected devices per Household –   Navin Shenoy – Intel

If we assume 4 people – 6 computers and 2 phones, we have 40 ‘other’ connected devices in our homes … maybe less, but the number is growing rapidly

Smart Devices are continuously Talking to remote servers around the world

 That is something many people don’t realize. Each device is talking to several different servers (computers) somewhere around the world each day. Some of these 

communications are encrypted and some are not.


But I have Encryption in my home … and a secure Wifi …

 Security is required at many layers in your computing environment. This is where buzzwords can create confusion. In the table below, we list the main home security technologies available today, and which devices / activities they help protect.

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So What remains Unprotected?

 80% of the Devices in Your Home! You will notice, that nothing is protecting the smart devices themselves

But, it's just a light bulb …

Yes, but to a hacker that is an unpatched, minimally protected, unmonitored computer.

Your bulb looks like this:

So it's a sensor and control area for the device – (in this case on/off, color, brightness, etc) – but then it is a small computer with an application, free memory, cpu, storage and network access. 

Plenty of Places for Rogue Code to Live

 By zooming in, we see plenty of room for rogue programs to run amok on each device. (shown in green) .  These programs are introduced in a variety of ways, with new "exploits" being discovered daily.


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Privacy Lost


Now, the devices may start performing rogue work inside your home, and you will have no idea. Potentially, they can spread to other devices, control this device, control other devices (think locks, heating/cooling, cameras, etc.), monitor/capture data/information flowing from other devices. The information can then be combined and activity profiles for the members of the household can be created.

Currently, homes have no way to determine where each Smart Device is authorized to ‘talk’. So, a rogue (hacked) program can start capturings and sending your data to, and getting commands from , an unauthorized server.