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Connected home networks present numerous cybersecurity risks as vulnerable connected devices could compromise the security of your privacy and safety of your data.

Cyber-attacks are on the rise and are becoming highly sophisticated. With the fast proliferation of smart home devices, end users are becoming increasingly more vulnerable to potential security breaches. In just a few clicks, one could unwittingly download malware to a smart device, falling prey to a hacker’s malicious intent.

TVs and entertainment systems, smart speakers, lights, cameras, outlets, thermostats, home appliances, security alarms, locks, doorbells – these are all products that have added “connectivity” to their list of features over the past few years. Using WiFi to become accessible over the internet for a whole host of features, each of these products could become a potential entry to your home network.

The lack of sufficient protection when setting up an “Internet of Things” device coupled with not keeping current with updates from the manufacturer are two of the primary reasons why hackers are able to gain access to IoT devices. It does not require much time or a very sophisticated method to accomplish this either. For example, a digital video recorder with factory configurations that are public is a sure target, discoverable by the bad guys in minutes.

Manufacturers of IoT devices do their best to strike a balance between security and practicality in the configuration of their products. But the final word on how well protected the smart device is from cyberattacks belongs to the end-user, who enables options that agree with their needs and makes the conscious decision to install updates or to ignore them.

Intrusion Alert: Security Threats to Smart Devices

The typical IoT device does not come equipped with a way to inform who has access to it and from where, which makes it difficult for the average consumer to spot an intrusion. What’s more, a gadget that is part of a botnet often performs the same, without any visible or straightforward indicators that it has been compromised.

Connection logs and router management interface typically include data to signal potential security incidents, but such critical data is not very user friendly.

By the time the obvious signs of an intrusion appear – for example, abnormal activity due to setup modification change, denied access to the configuration page because of changed credentials, it may already be too late.

Ignoring firmware updates from IoT makers leads to the same fate, as hackers customize the reach of their scanning tools to identify gadgets with documented vulnerabilities, and then attack them with the appropriate code. Cyber assaults such as these are deemed successful as long as the product is accessible directly over the web, even against a custom setup.

If you do choose to take advantage of the benefits a connected smart home provides, you will want to outsmart potential intruders to ensure you are the one in control of your data and devices. You might want to consider a level of network protection that can inform you of the health of your network and can provide you with the information and the tools to stay on top of things.

Detect and Protect: Block the Hidden Backdoors into your Home

In addition to manufacturers enhancing the security of their products, end users will benefit most if they have access to an efficient and intuitive application that can accurately identify and address any malicious activity on their network and smart devices.

Bitdefender is a leader in providing comprehensive security solutions for the connected home, providing solutions to protect all Internet-connected devices from malware, stolen passwords, identity theft, spying, and more. Bitdefender’s partnership with NETGEAR will provide a central security solution that protects all Internet-connected devices, at home or on the go, against cyber threats.

Making your home network safe should be a priority if you want to avoid the security risks that smart home devices pose.

Since all IoT products connect to the wider web through the network, it is logical to enforce protection at that gate to detect and protect you from the risks of an Internet of Things connected world.

Ionut Ilascu

Ionut Ilascu is a technology writer specialized in malware, vulnerabilities and exploits, research advancements and innovation in information security. His work has been published by Bitdefender, The Security Ledger and Softpedia. Lately, his focus leans towards security and privacy in the Internet-of-Things space.

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