Smart homes under cyber threat

smart-home-security copy

Sunaina Rana / Emirates Business

Smart homes technology is undergoing boom across the UAE, but at
the same time it brings along many
Industry experts have rung the security alarm and asked for the secure upkeep of personal details of the stakeholders. They advised the consumers to stay more vigilant while sharing private data with cyber companies involved in setting up smart cities.
“There are vulnerabilities for sure. And we have many examples where data has been captured using questionable consent models and not just by hackers. Therefore we have to find solutions for these loose ends,” said Raj Samani, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, EMEA at Intel Security.
A survey conducted by the Intel Security stated that upto 54 percent respondents were willing to share their personal information collected from their smart homes with companies in exchange for money. The survey also found that 77 percent of respondents believe smart homes will be as common in 2025 as smartphones are today, but 66 percent are also concerned about smart home data being hacked by cyber-criminals.
Major concerns about the clouding of the smart homes market is that the sensors in the equipment can be hacked, leading to signal failures that shut down subways.
The survey also revealed that respondents raised their concern over the potential security threats from smart homes, with 92 percent expressing concern that their personal data could be hacked by cybercriminals. Whilst 89 percent respondents stated that if they live in a smart home they would possibly prefer to secure all their smart device data through one integrated solution.
Regarding the security threat, Raj said, “Consent transparency and value will be the corner-stones of modern privacy. The challenge is that we don’t know for what the data will be used, so the implications are completely unknown.”
He added, “Beyond this of course is the challenge that we may not get the appropriate value for the use of our data. Data has the value and it’s important to get this. Consumers must ask three questions in order to help them make the right decision on whether they should share data. First – ‘For what will be my data used for’, second – ‘Am I getting the appropriate value in return for sharing my data’ and third – ‘Am I providing the consent’.”
However, the UAE market has realised the benefits of the smart technology and has been aggressively being working in terms of energy saving and increasing property value, thus all these realisations will continue to lead to growth of market in the UAE.

Raj Samani - VP, CTO, EMEA at Intel Sec copy

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