How to best protect your smart home and office from data leakage or hacker attacks?

  • Press
Many of us today have fallen for the smart devices that make up the entire ecosystem in our homes. However, some have gone even further and are building smart homes that they control remotely.
Ako najlepšie chrániť smart domácnosť a kanceláriu pred únikom dát či hekerským útokom?

It is undoubtedly sexy to be able to see what is happening at home, control the temperature, home appliances, or many other elements of this automated system, but when creating such an ecosystem we should be especially careful and think about sufficient security to prevent unwelcome users from entering the home network.

A smart home or smart office is nothing new. In 2020, when thousands of smart devices and solutions flooded the market at truly affordable prices, such an automated home or office could be built by a large number of users. However, it is important with this system to ensure sufficient security and protection against data leakage or complete control through a hacker attack.

The vulnerability of a poorly secured network can be used by attackers to eavesdrop on their victims, to create so-called backdoor, they stole important data, the admin gained access to the devices, whether they completely controlled the devices in your home or office. By default, these smart devices or solutions are thoroughly protected from the factory, so that they are connected to the home network of devices that are not on the Internet – directly visible in the public network. It is protected by the so-called firewall (router, or home or central unit), which is responsible for repelling hacker attacks. For this reason, it is good to always have the firewall on the router turned on and the network properly secured with a complex password and always the latest software.

“The topic of home network security is very often downplayed and users often don’t think about it. Most people think that they are not affected by this topic and therefore are not in danger. However, the opposite is true. Most home networks are poorly secured due to ignorance of the issue,” explains Vladimír Palečka from Aliter Technologies, adding: “The first thing to focus on when securing a home network is the password, which is the key to the entire security system. Today, it’s ideal to use long passwords that contain special characters, because an ordinary computer that you have at home, can try several thousand passwords per second. For devices designed specifically for password cracking, we are already talking about several million tested passwords per second.”

When building a smart home or office, you should therefore consult with security experts who will help you best secure your device ecosystem. “Same as you should encrypt a Wi-Fi network, you should encrypt your router. You always log in to it with your name and password. These data are always preset at the factory and most often set to very simple login data, such as admin / admin or admin / 12345 and most people never change them. However, this is a huge mistake, because it is through this data that an attacker can log in to the router interface and gain control over the entire network. It can then arbitrarily change the settings, the password from the Wi-Fi network, upload malicious software without you even knowing it, or completely disable the entire network. However, in addition to changing the name and password, you should also think about regularly updating the firmware, which brings security patches that will make it more difficult to attack your hardware,” adds Vladimír Palečka from Aliter Technologies.

It is therefore not worthwhile to underestimate security with a weak password or neglecting the correct network settings. You may say that who would attack your home or office, but today other “insignificant” targets also become the target of a hacker attack. Whether it’s for the sake of the entertainment of an experienced hacker or vice versa, in order to obtain data, it is always an unpleasant invasion of privacy.

“With good security, however, such an attack will not give you a chance. Therefore you do not have to be afraid of smart home. However, we feel obliged to communicate the risks associated with building such solutions, as they are not completely simple systems, as we know from the “analog world”, where you just turn the key in the lock,” explains Vladimír Palečka. Smart home or office today is a big trend that makes our lives easier. It cannot only automate certain tasks, communicate remotely, set things, or look into a space, but also protects the space against unauthorized intrusion or against “ordinary” domestic accidents, such as fire, gas or water leaks.

“A smart home or smart office was created to help us run our daily lives more smoothly and efficiently. Every day, a number of new interesting products are created, thanks to which we can make life at home and at work more easy. Therefore, do not let the home automation system burn out on weak security. You do not leave your home or office unlocked and the door open when you leave. You should also proceed in the same way with your “virtual” doors and keep them properly protected,” concluded Vladimír Palečka.