Introduction

As we move towards a world of the Internet of Things (IoT), there is a certain risk associated with it. With each smart home device you add, it’s like adding another tiny door into your home for someone to hack open or take advantage of. Smart home devices are prone to the risk of losing your privacy to someone and take advantage of your personal information. 

But securing the IoT in people’s homes is in our hands. Small steps in the right direction can make a difference. You need to be proactive about your security if you want to secure your home network. Here are some tips and techniques for your home cyber security networks.

  1. What is Home Cyber Security?
  2. Common cybersecurity threats against smart home devices
  3. Ways to secure home network

1. What is Home Cyber Security?

Home Cyber Security refers to the processes, or practices designed to protect a network, data, and devices from attack, damage, or unauthorized access within a home.

Attacks can occur on any type of network, whether big or small, home or business. If a network connects to the internet, it is more susceptible to external threats.

Some connected device makers don’t take proper measures as required, to build secure systems, and maybe running outdated software that has security vulnerabilities, which make it easy for a hacker to access personal, confidential, or sensitive data and to take control of the system and puts the entire home network at risk.

Consider a few scenarios which can give you a brief idea of how could your home cyber security be compromised :

  • Smart lock of a front door can give hackers control over the people coming in or going out of the house, or they can lock out the actual residents.
  • A hacker may disturb residents using smart bulbs by switching them on at inconvenient times.
  • Smartphones may provide the hacker with the opportunity to access your login credentials, passwords, and confidential data.

2. Common cybersecurity threats against smart home devices

Smart home IoT devices can fall victim to various types of attacks. Here’s a list of some common attacks on your IoT devices:

  • Hijacking

The hijacking of IoT devices can be a serious issue for home cyber security because, once the device has been compromised, the hackers gain complete control of the IoT device and it is really difficult for the user to know when the IoT device is hijacked as the device itself remains fundamentally unchanged.

  • Data theft

IoT devices are loaded with lots of information about the end-user. Some smart home devices have access to critical information about the end-user such as date of birth, bank details, health records, etc. Hackers can target these devices to gain information and use this information to their advantage.

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

A Denial-of-service attack (DoS) is a cyber-attack in which the attacker seeks to make a network temporarily unavailable or indefinitely disrupts the internet services of the user. Sometimes DDoS attacks are used to divert cybersecurity operations while other unlawful activity such as data theft, hijacking, is ongoing. The Google attack, 2017, AWS DDoS Attack,2020 are among the most famous DDoS attacks which we have come across recently.

3. Ways to secure home network

IoT has a huge benefit for us. Unfortunately, it’s not safe until it’s secure. With the help of the following simple but effective techniques, you can significantly reduce the risk of a potential attack :

  • Regularly update your devices.

Make sure your devices are running the latest software. Many devices have firmware updates that come out from time to time to fix bugs, add new features, and plug security holes. 

  • Disable unnecessary features

Disable unnecessary features that you won’t be using, minimizes the potential attack, and will keep your devices safer.

  • Use of strong passwords and 2FA

The use of weak passwords makes it easy for a hacker to take control of the system and then run amuck inside your home’s network. It’s a bad practice to use the same password or even part of that password on multiple accounts across the internet. Enable 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) in your device wherever possible to add that extra layer of protection to accounts.

  • Think before buying 

Do not buy an IoT device from a vendor unless it has proven security. Lookup a manufacturer to see if there are any customer complaints or issues reported with software problems, their track record, experience, the location where servers are located, and laws of that country for protecting your privacy.

  • Use guest networks

Another path to secure things would be to get a separate WiFi. Keep your WiFi access limited. Do not share your WiFi passwords with anyone. Try your best to limit the number of devices you put onto your home WiFi network. It will ensure a lower likelihood of your device being compromised.

Conclusion

Internet of things (IoT) has huge advantages, and it can make your life easier. If you are surrounded by smart home devices, you should be aware of the potential threats associated with them so that you can manage them efficiently and use them to their greater advantage.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.

Also Read

SHARE
share

Are you ready to build your own career?