Smart home devices — you see them in every corner of every home nowadays. And with the imminent rise of Wifi 6E, which promises internet speeds like never before, we will see an even more explosive surge in the number of connected devices in the home/workplace. Since smart home devices are undoubtedly a huge convenience in many lives, providing security and ease, we can only expect more and more purchases and newer innovative releases. And with connected devices, the possibilities are endless.
For example, you can now control the ambience and even temperature of various rooms in your home with the help of smart light bulbs and smart thermostats. And, more importantly, homeowners and residents can now remotely monitor their homes whenever away, thanks to smart security cameras, smart doorbells and smart sensors.
To many, homes are our sanctuaries, providing a temporary escape from our busy lives, hectic schedules and the worries of the world. However, have you ever thought about how safe your home really is, even with a smart security system? Unfortunately, even the most advanced connected home security devices are susceptible to cyber-hacks and security threats.
Luckily, in the world of IoT devices, Communication Service Providers act as the gatekeepers of your personal data and privacy protection for your home security systems. Connected devices with proactive CSPs are increasing in popularity since they ensure the protection of all customer data and information.
Cyber-hacking and security threats
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, cyber-attacks reached their pinnacle in 2021 with data breaches of over 17%. With an average of 18 connected devices per US household, vulnerability to security threats increases. And we’re not just referring to smartphones and laptops. People wish to stay connected in all aspects now, from fitness equipment to smart light systems.
Information collected by these devices is uploaded to a cloud and organized to understand preferences and behavioural patterns. As intriguing as that sounds, if this data gets into the wrong hands, you are exposed to a plethora of dangers. Therefore, each of these smart devices needs constant proactive protection against the looming threat of hackers.
Here are some of the prominent security threats and risks you can face with smart home devices.
1. Unauthorized access to security devices and monitoring
If you have integrated security devices into your home, you probably know their main function is 24/7 video and audio recording and capturing footage. If hackers gain unauthorized access to your home through smart home cameras and devices, they can manipulate the system according to their commands. They’ll have access to all audio and video recordings and will be able to hear and see you at all times. Quite a scary thought, right?
2. Data manipulation
In many large-scale robberies and burglary cases, cyber-hackers alter surveillance systems to erase and delete evidence of break-ins on security cameras. Since data transmitted via connected devices is unencrypted, hackers can easily manipulate the data and replace the original with an altered version.
3. Third-party app flops
Third-party apps account for a large chunk of cyber-hacks. Since these apps are not properly secured, there’s always a window of chance for hackers to invade your device for fraudulent and criminal activities.
CSPs can help homeowners — and themselves.
Purchasing internet services from CSPs who invest in ample security infrastructure is always a good choice. Users will be able to enjoy the convenience of using wifi-enabled devices while putting cyber-hack and security risk worries to rest too.
And for service providers themselves, it’s high time that they rise to the responsibility for providing, maintaining and protecting their users from cyber-security threats. And not only is this turning into an unspoken obligation but investing in appropriate security measures may prove to be an additional stream of revenue for CSPs.
Earlier this year, a Blackberry survey revealed that 58% of customers would be willing to pay more for connected devices if their data and privacy protection is guaranteed. This presents itself as a business opportunity for smart communications service providers who can now offer them both.
According to a Deloitte survey, every US household owned an average of 25 smart home devices in 2021, and one year later, this number is bound to have increased. All of these devices — smart lighting, sensors, thermostats, voice assistants — function differently (separate user interfaces and apps) and are from various companies. Expecting the companies and brands to ensure security for each of these devices is unrealistic, and therefore, the responsibility falls on CSPs.
Additionally, security for smart home devices is a feasible entry point for CSPs that doesn’t require substantial infrastructure investment. Providing telephone and internet services, CSPs have already established themselves as trusted brands that run and secure networks and provide content services. Deciding to provide IoT security for Wifi-enabled devices, along with convenient and entertainment services, can allow CSPs to grow their user base, margin and revenue per customer.