Most people would probably give slightly different answer to the question of what is a home security system, let alone a smart home security system.
Any security system in a home is often thought of largely as an alarm system, possibly coupled nowadays with various types of CCTV cameras and other types of technology that can alert and detect intruders.
A home security system certainly can be that, but can also be a lot more.
The traditional method of securing a home has always been locks and mortar. As time has gone on, technology has allowed more and more sophisticated devices to let people believe that home is safer.
A smart home, both now and in the future, is one where essentially all the systems and devices in the home can connect or talk to each other wirelessly, and can be centrally controlled either through a smart phone app or some type of voice recognition system.
Inevitably a smart home security system will consist of a combination of locks on windows and doors that can be controlled wirelessly, as well as a combination of burglar alarms, CCTV cameras and various other security devices.
The proponents of a smart home security system will argue that the combination of all these factors, and the fact that they can be coordinated and controlled through a central wireless system makes the whole process of safeguarding and securing a home much easier.
That can certainly be debated, but to an extent misses the point.
While there certainly may be some advantages from a convenience point of view of the ability to co-ordinate various connected devices, it does also leave someone’s home much more vulnerable to the possibility of being hacked.
The idea of cyber security and internet safety is one that most people are probably aware of, even if it is only the notion of computer viruses and computer malware.
Most people who have a PC or tablet in their home are likely to have some type of antivirus software installed, may or may not have a firewall activated and most likely don’t take the risk of being hacked to seriously.
The scenario changes significantly in the event of a smart home existing, and a smart home security system being the main or only line of defence against any intruder or unwelcome visitor.
There are already many anecdotal instances of baby monitor alarms being hacked by individuals who then use that device to say things and shout things that will upset or disturb the baby or child near the device.
Whilst these reports are certainly disturbing in themselves, they should also be disturbing to the manufacturers of these devices.
The vulnerability of these devices lies not only in the devices themselves, but in the continual upgrades they will need over their lifetime in order to keep them secure.
Peter Main is freelance writer who has almost forty years experience of the computer industry, and a wide knowledge base of internet and cyber security. He writes extensively about Cyber Security and Insurance [http://www.whycyberinsurance.net], and the implications of big data [http://www.whycyberinsurance.net/cyber-insurance-risk-protection/big-data/].
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