Whats the Risk in a Smart Home

The latest technologies bring tremendous convenience and value …

By 2020, There will be an average of 50 connected devices per Household –   Navin Shenoy – Intel

If we assume 4 people – 6 computers and 2 phones, we have 40 ‘other’ connected devices in our homes … maybe less, but the number is growing rapidly

Smart Devices are continuously Talking to remote servers around the world

That is something many people don’t realize. Each device is talking to several different servers (computers) somewhere around the world each day. Some of these communications are encrypted and some are not.

A Smart Device using Secure Encryption to communicate with its ‘cloud controller’

But I have Encryption in my home … and a secure Wifi …

Security is required at many layers in your computing environment. This is where buzzwords can create confusion. In the table below, we list the main home security technologies available today, and which devices / activities they help protect.

 Technology What it Protects Protects Against
Anti-virus / Anti-malware Computers and Phones Rogue Programs
Firewall (network or device) Devices behind it Inbound rogue requests
Blacklists (Servers/IPs) Connected devices reaching out Stops KNOWN bad server access
Encryption at various levels Data in transit Eavesdropping
Network Passwords Initial Access to the Network Rogue Access to the Network

So What remains Unprotected?

80% of the Devices in Your Home! You will notice, that nothing is protecting the smart devices themselves.

But, its just a light bulb …

Yes, but to a hacker that is a unpatched, minimally protected, unmonitored computer.

Your bulb looks like this:

So its a sensor and control area for the device – (in this case on/off, color, brightness, etc) – but then it is a small computer with an application, free memory, cpu, storage and network access.

By zooming in, we see plenty of room for rogue programs to run amok on each device. (shown in green)

This is what hackers call a ‘Target Rich Environment’.

Now, the devices may start performing rogue work inside your home, and you will have no idea. Potentially, they can spread to other devices, control this device, control other devices (think locks, heating/cooling, cameras, etc.), monitor/capture data/information flowing from other devices. The information can then be combined and activity profiles for the members of the household can be created.

Currently, homes have no way to determine where each Smart Device is authorized to ‘talk’. So, a rogue (hacked) program can start sending your data to, and getting commands from , an unauthorized server.

Notice that rogue program in the smart bulb is sending information to the proper server, and then to an unknown server the 2nd time. (red arrows)

Now, you have no idea where your data is going, as this is all invisible to you.

Introducing Guard Dog

Guard Dog works with all of the major smart home hubs and wifi devices.

With a built in Touchscreen, it will let you know for each device whether it is running with a secure communication protocol.

Guard Dog knows the Smart Devices behavior and characteristics, and will prevent unauthorized communications.

Order your Guard Dog Today

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