Smart Home Security: How to Prevent Hacking
By Chris Barry
May 17, 2019
We talked last month about how smart security is taking off in a big way, especially with so many homes now owning a smart hub. But just how secure is smart home security and, the million dollar question, can it be hacked? Let’s explore the risks of today’s modern security systems, and take a look at ways to avoid those risks.
How can a smart home security system be hacked?
Any product that connects to the internet and uses wireless technology is going to be vulnerable to hacking.
With smart home hubs, there is the risk that hackers can sit outside the property and use a laptop and software to intercept wireless signals coming from the system, potentially allowing them to suppress alarms and disable smart sensors. Other devices allow hackers to create radio noise which prevents the smart home hub and sensors communicating with each other.
Devices that connect via Wi-Fi, for example CCTV cameras and smart door locks, can also be used as a gateway for hackers to access your home network. Sophisticated hackers can then tap into any of your Wi-Fi devices to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against larger networks. What is even more worrying is the concept of a stranger monitoring video streams from your outdoor or indoor smart CCTV cameras.
How to prevent my smart home security system from being hacked?
There are numerous steps that can be taken to ensure your smart home security system is safeguarded against malicious attacks by hackers.
1. Be password savvy
One of the easiest ways to allow unauthorised access to your smart home hub is to leave the password as it was when you took it out of the box. Before you do anything else, replace the password with a strong, unique alternative. Use a mixture of letters, symbols and numbers. The best advice is to change your password from time to time.
2. Secure your home network
Make sure the security settings on your wireless router are working in your favour. Again, set yourself a strong, unique password and change it on a regular basis. Change the network name too, and be sure to deactivate WPS. This is the weakest link in your network.
WPS stands for Wi-Fi protected Setup. It was designed to make it more straightforward to connect new devices to a network, but by design it can weaken your network security, potentially allowing unauthorised users on your Wi-Fi connection to download illegal content using your network; hack your PC; access network shared hard drives and alter data sent to and from your PC.
Each router manufacturer has different procedures for disabling WPS; look yours up, and follow the instructions.
Always make sure that your router firewall is enabled, and keep your router’s firmware up to date.
Some router models provide an extra layer of software protection, so if you are considering your options router wise, it’s a good idea to factor this feature in.
3. Check your CCTV logs
Your smart CCTV camera records will provide useful information on when they have been accessed. Check them regularly. If you notice camera activity at unusual times or when you know that no one has been at home, it could indicate that your smart home security system has been compromised.
4. Always install updates
As with your router, keeping your smart home security system up to date is crucial. Firmware updates will more often than not address known security issues, and will help to protect your entire network from unsolicited intrusion.
Smart home security advice from Barry Bros
If you are considering going smart with your home security system, talk to Barry Bros Security. We offer a comprehensive range of the latest smart home security solutions, and we can provide the expert guidance you need to ensure your home security cannot be compromised.