Defending Home Automation And The Connected Home

  • Posted on: 6 August 2013
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

Home automation and the devices that support this solution have had a lot of bad press over the last two weeks.  As a supporter of the products and the technologies to goes into it to make it all possible, personally I was embarrassed by it all. From a professional standpoint I can see the benefit of highlighting these issues and a lot coming out of it. Home automation and smart home solutions have come a long way since 1933 when it was a theme at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.

Last year I highlighted the possibility of our homes getting hacked and the need for stronger security on internet facing devices – more so the gateway routers.  Based on what I have read in the news last week I think OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and service providers can take a lot from it. First, I think there is a need for closer collaboration between the two, to make access to the home network more secure.  They now know where some of the shortcomings are and how to fix them.

A lot of noises are being made about the security risk of smart meter and governments have listen and are spending a lot to secure the whole smart grid infrastructure.  OEMs and Service Providers can take their lessons from this going forward.

Companies like Honeywell, Norton and Broadcom and Sophos have all announced security solutions that go beyond the PC. Maybe more device/chip manufacturers need to get involve to look at remote home access base the findings of the last two weeks.

I also believe more households that are thinking about or have the home automation should now be aware of the potential risk of not following best practice or exercising due diligence in securing their home network.  The smarter our home appliances get the greater the risk of others accessing them for ill or good.

I am disappointed by some of what I read online from some of the writers who cover the stories. In it, I read ignorance and pessimism, which is bad because the connected home is here to stay. The connected life is slowly becoming a way of life for some and will only continue to grow, as the technologies get better. Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected on the home network by year-end 2015.