Closer Than We Think in the Age of The Internet of Things
At 7:30, your alarm wakes you up with your favorite song. After a few refrains, a calming voice chimes in to remind you that you wanted a reminder to pick up the dry cleaning today.
As your toes touch the bathroom floor, the lights turn on, and the news comes on as you enter the shower and the water hits your skin at precisely the right temperature.
As you’re brushing your teeth, you remember you forgot to order roses for your anniversary. Once you spit out your toothpaste, you call out:
“Alexa, order a dozen roses from the flower shop on Main Street and have them sent to Melissa’s work address.”
‘Ok’, it responds. And it’s done. You slip on your suit, and you head downstairs to where your coffee is brewed. You grab it as you head out the door, as the thermostat automatically goes down, as the lights automatically shut off, and the garage door automatically closes.
Master In Charge of the Internet of Things
This may sound like an episode of Netflix’s modern anthology series Black Mirror (specifically White Christmas, which, if you haven’t seen, you should get on that right about now), but this integration of home systems, called the internet of things, is one of the most popular tech items on the market right now. Amazon Echo and Google Home are just two examples of devices that integrate various home systems to make them more immediately accessible to the user.
Although this could simplify some of our day-to-day, this technology is developing very quickly; so quickly, in fact, that the industry struggling to develop smart home security at the same pace. Beyond the distaste for a lot of men buying a device with a feminine voice to do whatever they say (that’s a discussion for another day); beyond the Promethean concerns of man becoming too big for his bridges, the integration of smart home technology is very vulnerable to hackers.
Hackers and Smart Home Security
Although we may not have to worry about our smart homes enslaving us just yet, other humans, who may be more technologically savvy than the average Amazon Echo purchaser, we may have to be wary of.
With all of our home technology interconnected, people can actually hack into locks or shut off alarm systems. Researchers at the University of Michigan and the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence have conducted experiments exposing how various systems connected to the internet of things can be breached with ease.
Luckily, there are organizations and companies developing smart home security at this very moment. Amazon and other providers provide frequent updates that can aid in security. But these are still vulnerable devices, and can be best protected by a local locksmith, or going invisible with Tor software. Tor’s are enabled when websites or systems want to hide their location. Although it is difficult for the layman to set up, Tor’s Guardian Project offers top notch security.
As our tech advances and adapts, we have to remember that hackers adapt just as fast.
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