Is Your Smart Home Vulnerable to a Cyber Attack?
A Professional Home Network Installation Can Protect Your Technology
You don't have to be a “Black Mirror” enthusiast to know there are some inherent dangers of technology.
A common pushback to smart technology is the vulnerabilities it can create by relying on a home network installation to get devices communicating with each other.
There are a variety of reasons third parties may want to access your network. They may want to steal valuable information, hold your system for a ransom, or use it to initiate a broader DDoS attack like the one that almost brought down the internet for a day in 2016.
The good news? An enterprise-grade network and professional installation can protect your Portland, OR home from a cyber-attack. In this blog, we'll highlight some common smart device vulnerabilities and how to address them in your network installation.
What Are Common Vulnerabilities?
In this section, we're going to go over three things that may be putting your home at risk: port-forwarding, cloud devices, and human error.
- Port Forwarding: One of the coolest features of a smart home is being able to access it remotely. You can turn off lights, check surveillance and lock doors even when you’re away.
To do that, you're forwarding your network to an external device like your smartphone. This creates new possible access points for hackers.
It’s like adding doors to your home. It’s only inherently dangerous if you then don’t secure those doors properly (which we’ll address in the next section).
- Cloud Devices: The other prominent smart home feature everyone loves? Voice control!
Voice control devices like Amazon Alexa rely on cloud services to recognize your command and translate it accordingly.
Like port-forwarding, each cloud device creates another entrance-point for potential hackers.
- Human Error: Even if you have the most reliable home security system in the world, it won't be much use if you forget to lock doors or set the alarm.
The same is true of network security. You could put your network at risk by responding to phishing emails, accessing suspicious websites, or using weak passwords.
How Can You Secure Your Home Network?
The good news is that all the things we mentioned above are easily addressed through a professional home network and smart technology installation.
- Working with Reliable Devices: Creating additional entryways (through port forwarding or cloud services) in your network is only dangerous if you're doing so without protection.
While it may be tempting to add every new smart device that hits the market, it’s important to consult with your home technology professional first.
We can help you judge if a smart device has the necessary protection protocols — like firewalls and data encryption — to keep third parties from entering your network.
- Segregating Your Network: Another way to defend your home is to isolate specific network components.
Any devices vulnerable to hacking — like those that use port forwarding — can be placed on dedicated VLANs or subnetworks.
That way, if someone does manage to hack them, only that system will be affected – not your entire network. This makes it easier to recognize and resolve attacks if they do happen.
- Client Education: Any home network installation should include a thorough education on how to use it.
Networking experts can teach you to recognize phishing emails, let you know what kind of websites to avoid, and give you advice when it comes to creating and updating passwords.
As we mentioned earlier, we can also help you gauge whether new devices are safe before you add them to your home.
Do you have more questions about protecting your home from cyber-attacks? You can reach out to us by calling (503) 598-7380 or by filling out our online contact form.