Security Standards Needed For Smart Home Products

greg sleterThere’s been a great deal of discussion during the past year about the current-day and future prospects regarding smart home products.

Much of the conversation has focused on product development and how to market to consumers these new products equipped with Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth technology.

But following the October 21 cyber attack on Dyn, a cloud-based Internet performance management company, conversation has shifted to security concerns about smart home products.

The hack that led to the shutdown of several well-known websites including Twitter, PayPal and Amazon is said to have started through a number of smart home devices ranging from security cameras to baby monitors and routers.

The use of smart home products in the recent cyber attack should give the industry pause. Technology is a wonderful thing and wireless devices such as smart phones and tablets have changed our world. But if our smart coffeemakers, air purifiers and barbecue accessories serve to be conduits to easily hack popular websites, what else could hackers disrupt or shutdown using items found in our homes?

Following the cyber attack, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said in a prepared statement that implementing strong security of IoT (Internet of Things) devices is an important issue for the technology industry and the nation overall.

He also said that the “bad actors” responsible for the cyber attack should not hinder innovation.

Shapiro is correct. In fact, these “bad actors” should inspire innovation, especially in terms of security related to smart home products. It should also inspire agencies such as CTA to work with other organizations and even the federal government to develop industry-wide standards.

Otherwise, the next cyber attack could be pointed at something much more vital than Twitter.