Technological advancements are moving the security industry forward at a rate of knots.
With the marked rise in devices connected to the internet, devices like; TVs, thermostats, even everyday items like fridges and kettles and of course security systems, we feel a word or two of caution is warranted. This article is not about scaremongering, more about giving you information so you can evaluate potential risk and make an informed choice as to whether convenience carries a risk to you and your premises.
According to a report in The Telegraph, when they investigated 25 internet connected devices they found 250 “potentially dangerous” security flaws. “The devices came from manufacturers of TVs, webcams, home thermostats, remote power outlets, sprinkler controllers, hubs for controlling multiple devices, door locks, home alarms, scales and garage door openers”.
The author, Matthew Sparkes, Deputy Head of Technology goes on to say: “All of the devices included remote smartphone applications which were used to control them. It was found that 90 per cent of the devices collected personal information, 70 per cent transmitted that data on an unencrypted network and 60 per cent had insecure user interfaces. Eight out of ten failed to require a strong enough password.”
The full article from The Telegraph can be read here.
That’s a scary number: 70% of devices transmitted personal data on an unencrypted network! That’s your personal data floating around for anyone to pick up and use as they wish.
How do you know if a device is secure?
The easy answer here is ask! Before putting your trust in a system that you rely upon to protect people or premises ask: What data is collected? Is it secure, is the data sent encrypted? Is your phone secure?
Ian Ramsay, MD of Clear Sound Security advises: “There are some great security products on the market, however not all are secure. That’s why we are very careful when choosing the systems we recommend to both our commercial clients and home users. I understand the need for convenience, but this must be weighed against the Risk. At Clear Sound Security, we have a Cyber Essentials Certificate of Assurance and are well aware of the risks some security systems can pose”
What is the Cyber Essentials Scheme?
Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats.
More information about the Cyber Essentials Scheme can be found on the government website here.
Ian goes on to say: “It is great to see people becoming more security conscious, but it seems the risks of unsecured data passed by some systems are not readily apparent.”
This doesn’t mean we do not recommend systems connected to the internet, quite the contrary, but it means we are very stringent when recommending a system to our clients. As well as the convenience, we must also be satisfied that the customer is aware of the risks involved in connecting anything to the Internet of Things (IoT) and that the security system does not give a false sense of security!