In a recent article, we outlined some of the most common threats to today’s Smart Home. Although Cyberattackers have sophisticated methods for “hacking into” your home, there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate the risk of your Smart Home from being preyed upon. Here are some effective ways to outsmart potential Smart Home hackers:
- Create an Incident Response Plan.
Although incident response plans are typically used by businesses, they are also useful for Smart Homes. You need to craft a plan that lays out the specific plans of action that you will take if your Smart Home is breached, and if any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) has been hijacked. For example, this plan should include a call tree of emergency contacts that you can reach out to immediately for help, such as family, neighbors, and even the local authorities, such as law enforcement and fire department. It is important that you rehearse this plan from time to time, and keep it updated with lessons learned. Store this document in a remote location so that you can access it even if you are maliciously locked out of your Smart Home.
- Make use of Identity Access Management.
Identity Access Management is a kind of Cyber toolset, in which you establish a set of permissions, rights, and privileges for those individuals who have access to your Smart Home. You, as the owner, will have all such permissions, rights, and privileges. But if you have kids, you will want to greatly curtail what they have access to. If other family members are allowed entry, you will want to limit their access as well, thus preventing any “unintentional” use of your Smart Devices. In this regard, you will also want to use Multifactor Authentication (MFA), so that a layered security approach can be implemented in your Smart Home. For example, if the Cyberattacker breaks through the first wall of defense, the statistical probability of them breaking through even further diminishes greatly. The more layers of security you implement, the better protected your Smart Home will be.
- Protect the endpoints.
The common line of thinking is that only the network lines of communication that bridge all of your Smart Devices into one cohesive unit require protection. But the truth of the matter is that even the endpoints need to be protected. The technical name for this is “Endpoint Security”. In this instance, you make use of software-based Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Firewalls. You can purchase these packages at a very affordable price from any reputable Internet Service Provider.
- Don’t forget the obvious.
Other items to include in your home security arsenal include the following:
- Change your passwords frequently. Use a Password Manager to create and remember long and complex passwords that cannot be broken into.
- Never rely on the default security settings from the vendor from which you procured your Smart Devices. Always reset the security settings to your own requirements, and keep these devices upgraded with the latest software patches and upgrades.
- If you have multiple devices in your Smart Home, don’t rely on a single network to connect all of them. Rather, break them out into smaller network segments, which are known as “Subnets”.
This article series has examined some of the major security threats posed to Smart Homes, as well as some of the steps you can take to mitigate those risks. These lists are by no means exhaustive, and it is always wise to contact a Cybersecurity consultant who specializes in Smart Home security to ensure that you are on par in terms of protection.
Ravi Das is a Cybersecurity Consultant and Business Development Specialist. He also does Cybersecurity Consulting through his private practice, RaviDas Tech, Inc. He is also studying for his Certificate In Cybersecurity through the ISC2.