The term “Smart” is being applied to just about everything these days. Cameras, thermostats, TVs, lights…heck, even your refrigerator can come with a Smart Monitor. However, not all “Smart” devices are created equal. For instance, let’s talk about the technology we see in the local big box stores or home improvement centers for a minute. You see, what most people don’t realize is that the smart devices, that they sell at these stores, are specifically made for the average Joe Do-it-Yourselfer to install. With that said, because these devices communicate with the “cloud”, in today’s world where headlines containing “Data Breach” and “System Hacked” are being used, some customers are beginning to grow skeptical about the safety associated with Smart devices.
In October 2016, you may or may not remember that a huge portion of the Internet was interrupted. Companies like CNN and Netflix had services interrupted due to a technological attack. This was due to infected devices such as web enabled cameras and digital video recorders that were NOT installed, secured or maintained by AV professionals. At another point, earlier in the year, a South Carolina mother discovered that someone had hacked her DIY “Smart” baby monitor camera and was using it to watch as she breastfed her child. Now, these are just two examples of what has already happened with these over-the-counter Do-it-Yourself Smart Home devices, but if you research it, it’s becoming quite a spiraling trend.
Unfortunately, most DIY users are looking for a quick, cheap way to make something smart within their home, and they don’t understand that there are multiple variables necessary in order to ensure that something “Smart” is also safe and secure. Also, most DIY users don’t know how to keep up with Firmware and Operating System Patches that are released to fix vulnerabilities as they are found. You see, hackers punch holes into weak points of a system, so it is necessary to keep up to date with patches and use hard to guess passwords to help prevent attacks.
Another point of contention is that these over-the-counter DIY smart devices rely on the “cloud” to operate data. Using the “cloud” just adds another point of possible attack as well as threatens to compromise your privacy. For instance, cameras store its video and photos with a “cloud” server because its free space. However, a hacker can compromise this server and can gain access to private footage. Furthermore, if hacked, the server may then become useless, or even worse…a weapon to be used against you. Imagine being held hostage from operating your thermostat because of a “cloud” service being hacked!
So, the question now arises, how does one transition into the world of “Smart”, minimize their risk at the same time? For starters, work with a reputable Smart Home Automation Company like Custom Audio Video. We will ensure that your Smart devices are not only installed right, but they will be installed smart. Also, rather than choosing to buy something over the counter, use a self-contained, reliable device made by a secure company, such as Crestron or Lutron. Because these devices do not rely on cloud servers, like the over-the-counter ones, your security is less likely to be compromised. Furthermore, a properly designed network will also help deter and/or prevent infiltration when you access your devices away from home. It is important to properly configure the system to make sure that the equipment is up to date with current security patches. Finally…don’t make your home “Smart”….make it brilliant!
Custom Audio Video
“We Have Smart Devices, and We Know How to Install them Smart!”