Securing the smart home environment

Currently, smart home environments complement traditional home appliances with connected devices that collect, exchange and process data to create added-value services and enhance the quality of life of inhabitants.

Smart homes face several challenges: traditional manufacturers develop connected objects with innovative functionalities but there is only a limited investment to ensure their security. The rapid development of smart home devices reuses several third-party components (hardware, software and services) while the security implications of these building-blocks remain a difficult aspect.

A new study from ENISA proposes a holistic approach with actionable good practices to secure smart home devices and services.

These measures seek to protect various types of devices and services found in Smart Homes in the various stages of their lifecycle: in the development, integration and usage and maintenance until end-of-life and recycling or disposal.

Examples of good practices include the testing of security functions at the development stage, the secure peering of devices in the Smart Home, and continuous support for security updates.

In relation to security for smart homes, Prof. Udo Helmbrecht, Executive Director of ENISA, suggests: “Smart homes evolve at a very fast pace. Integrating connected devices to an existing environment brings new security challenges with implications on the safety of smart home inhabitants and visitors. To ensure safety, manufacturers and developers need to secure the entire lifecycle of their products.”

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