Hackers pose risk to home automation systems

Home automation systems are growing in popularity. According to Security Info Watch, annual shipments of home automation devices are expected to increase by 78 percent over the next five years. This means that by 2018, shipments will exceed 351 million devices.

While this is good news for those who wish to automate their homes, it also serves as a reminder that as the technology spreads, incidents of hacking will also increase. As such, owners of home automation systems must remain vigilant and educate themselves about the risks and how to mitigate them.

“As technology embeds itself into these everyday devices and other parts of our lives, you will see an increased focus on their security,” Chris Rohlf, founder of Leaf Security Research, told the Boston Globe. “Anywhere you find technology you’ll inevitably find hackers.”

For example, many home automation systems come with home security features that can be controlled remotely over Wi-Fi with a smartphone or tablet. While certainly convenient, this method opens the system up to hacking, especially if the Wi-Fi network is not secure enough. Many are not. In fact, the Globe article warned of hackers using these systems to break into webcams and tamper with lighting systems. With a few keystrokes, this interference can range from harmless practical jokes to serious breaches of privacy and potential identity theft.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In addition to helping you chose the best system for your home, a North Carolina home automation company can advise you on how to secure it from hackers.