NewÂ reportÂ focusesÂ on the challenges, approaches andÂ opportunitiesÂ forÂ smart home securityÂ
Smart homeÂ systemsÂ must be secure by designÂ across products and servicesÂ andÂ the entire supply chainÂ ifÂ the industry is to deliver on its promisesÂ andÂ meetÂ ambitiousÂ market growthÂ predictions,Â says a report published todayÂ by Beecham Research.Â In its report, â€˜Bringing Security in the Smart Home: Approaches and Opportunitiesâ€™, Beecham Research says that while connected appliances such as entertainment, lighting, home security and heating systems are already finding their way intoÂ typicalhouseholds, there is a very real concern about security and privacy, which is holding backÂ wider adoption.
â€œSmart homes by theirÂ natureÂ introduce connections between multiple systems at multiple touch pointsÂ and create anÂ intersection between manyÂ otherÂ systems, including vehicles, energy grids, media streamingÂ and the cloud,â€ saysÂ Saverio Romeo, PrincipalÂ Analystat BeechamÂ Research.Â â€œAn exploitable vulnerability in the home could lead to more serious breaches in any of the systems it touches, whichÂ complicates the security landscape.Â Â Whereas traditional network security focusesÂ on fortifying, protecting and monitoring small numbers of routes to the network, an IoTÂ (Internet of Things)Â environmentÂ hasÂ too manyÂ routesÂ to effectively and economically securein the same way.Â So, while manyÂ smart home devicesÂ are designed to be secure, the connectionsÂ betweenÂ themÂ are often not protected.â€
The Beecham Research reportÂ definesÂ three main areasÂ of risk;Â end user expertise, newÂ business modelsÂ and pervasive and persistent insecurity.Â Many users of smart home technology are not expertsÂ and may compromise security through usingÂ default passwords, for example,Â allowing attackers to gain access toÂ home networks andÂ connected devices including PCs and laptops.Â The problem is compounded by traditional consumerÂ and householdÂ product companies rushing to developÂ connectedÂ productsÂ and services withoutadequate security knowledge or expertiseÂ â€“ graphically highlighted byÂ theÂ hack of Mattelâ€™s Hello Barbie doll.Â AndÂ withÂ the longlifecyclesÂ of home products such as washing machines,Â attackers haveÂ plenty of timeÂ toÂ reverseÂ engineer securityÂ systems andprotocolsÂ with the helpÂ of manuals and documentation available online.
Beecham Research believes that theseÂ fundamentalÂ issuesÂ needÂ to be addressed toÂ deliver trust inÂ smart homes,Â building onÂ existingguidelinesÂ coveringÂ technologyÂ andÂ policyÂ along withÂ servicesÂ and customer support.Â Concerted efforts by the likes of the Allseen Alliance, Open ConnectivityÂ Foundation, Open Interconnect Consortium,Â the IoT Security FoundationÂ and OWASPÂ (Open Web Application Security Project)Â areÂ aÂ positive move, butÂ require more attention. TheÂ authorsÂ alsoÂ point toÂ aÂ greater emphasis on security from home automation focused organisations including theÂ likes ofÂ Z-Wave Alliance, the Home Gateway Initiative and the Thread Group.
â€œTheÂ smart home security market is behind the curve comparedÂ to theÂ smart home products and services market,â€Â saysÂ Saverio Romeo.Â â€œMost securityÂ isÂ focused onÂ devicesÂ andÂ not very systematically, without stronglyÂ addressingÂ connectivity andÂ as-as-servicemodels. ThisÂ is in part due to the complexity of creatingÂ smart homeÂ systems and in part downÂ to the level of riskÂ thatÂ managed security service providers are happy toÂ takeÂ on.Â ButÂ It is clear that theÂ smart homesÂ industryÂ needs to be more proactiveÂ and take the lead rather thanÂ waiting to see where the next major threatÂ comesÂ from.â€
The Beecham Research reportÂ isÂ available atÂ www.beechamresearch.com.Â TheÂ newÂ focused reportÂ isÂ an extensionÂ ofÂ a wider look at the Smart Homes market publishedÂ at the end ofÂ lastÂ yearÂ entitled, â€˜Smart Home Market â€“Â CurrentÂ Status, Consumption Trends and Future Directionsâ€™.