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The Smart Home Security Concern You Haven’t Considered

by Scott Hogg, on Nov 18, 2016 12:40:43 PM

Last year, Gartner predicted that consumers were on track to activate 5.5 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices per day. Along with smartphones, smart watches and smart cars, we now have the ability to employ “smart home” devices that control home lighting, temperature, security, appliances and more. According to Machina Research, there are now at least 6 billion such devices.

While the goal of these devices is to make our lives easier, the industry is still at the stage where it hasn’t worked out all the bugs. Security is a big concern and industry experts are increasingly worried that hackers will take advantage of lax IoT device security to jumpstart larger scale attacks. In fact, it’s already happened. The massive and well-coordinated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack last month that took down sites like Twitter and Netflix took advantage of unsecured IoT devices such as universal remotes, DVRs, cameras and washing machines.

Fortunately there are a lot of very smart people who are working on making the IoT more secure. But there is one smart home security risk that some homeowners are finding out about the hard way when they try to sell their home. Most smart home devices are controlled by apps, which require accounts, passwords, SSIDs, cloud-based services, etc. How does a seller untangle from all of this, and how does the new owner gain assurance that the seller can’t still turn off the lights or unlock the front door?

In my latest article for Network World, “6 Tips for Buying or Selling a Smart Home,” I discuss a number of ways that both home sellers and buyers can work together to make the smart home transition from one person to another go smoothly.

Have you dealt with this situation yet? What difficulties did you encounter?

Scott Hogg is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for GTRI.

Topics:Internet of ThingsIoTSecurity

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