At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, tech giants such as Amazon and Samsung stole the show with their latest developments in smart home automation. From voice-activated virtual assistants that control appliances to refrigerators that send smartphone notifications when food items are running out, Americans are ready to turn their homes into households such as those portrayed by the animated television series The Jetsons.
Rise of Smart Homes
There is also a concern about privacy and the use of smart home assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. According to a survey conducted by market research firm Gartner in March 2017, two-thirds of homeowners are worried about smart speakers constantly listening to their conversations while connected to the Internet of Things.
To wreak havoc in a household, hackers only need to gain access to a single device or appliance connected to a smart home network that has not been properly secured. Once hackers are deep into a smart home network, they may be able to access smart locks, disable alarms and sensors, control appliances, and even breach devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home assistants, which contain sensitive information such as conversations, notes, agenda items, messages, and others.
Network Security Concerns
One of the problems with smart home automation systems is that electronics manufacturers market devices with too much emphasis on plug-and-play and do-it-yourself features; this creates a false sense of security among homeowners who set up their own networks without applying adequate security measures.