Securing the IoT- Filled Connected Home Network
Peace of mind starts with feeling safe and secure, especially at home. Just ask your customers why they hired you to put in a security system. Protecting their assets, especially those they love (think — family), is paramount and they selected you based on trust. As connected home technologies expand and deliver life-changing innovations, they also present new security challenges. We need to take these issues seriously, because they directly impact consumer trust – and that means an opportunity for you, the trusted security professional, to step up and be the hero by improving IoT security in the home.
Check out the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) Connected Home Cybersecurity System, designed by installers, for installers. It will help guide you through network security procedures for installing and configuring products on a network. The system includes three parts:
The Connected Home Cybersecurity Best Practices white paper in PDF format that outlines the disciplines involved and what needs to be done, with links on why each function should be completed.
A hard copy of the Connected Home Cybersecurity Checklist in PDF format to print and work through.
The interactive, mobile-friendly Connected Home Cybersecurity Tool for use in the field. (This online tool is available only to CTA members.)
The key areas of network security addressed include passwords, modems and routers, VPNs (virtual private networks), Z-Wave, Zigbee, beacons (NFC/RFID), Bluetooth, audio/video components, home security equipment, and mobile devices. The Connected Home Cybersecurity Tool helps inform customers about the work completed in their homes (by you, the professional) by providing a summary of security steps performed, as well as an overall score and recommendations. The technician may print this report and email it to the customer.
Using the Connected Home Cybersecurity System provides your customers with peace of mind through enhanced protection against connected-home related threats. With detailed documentation of measures taken, you will continue the trust you have already earned from your customers. They value your professional installation, industry knowledge, and proactive measures when it comes to protecting their connected home.
Expand your team’s network security knowledge and verify your company is using the most secure cybersecurity practices. Best of all, the information is available free. Download the white paper and checklist and start using them immediately. As a CTA member, use the online tool like a “flight-style” checklist to remind the installer what should be done on every project; and use the detailed scoring system to determine how well your project networks are secured and build customer peace of mind.
If you still aren’t convinced about the value of this opportunity, consider CTA’s research: Nearly all homes have access to the Internet and 27 million smart home devices are projected to sell this year, a 50 percent increase from last year. This dramatic growth creates a demand for professionals capable of installing network and IoT devices from different manufacturers and protecting the network connecting these devices to the Internet.
Full disclosure, I am a member of the CTA TechHome board and I participate in the working group that developed the Connected Home Cybersecurity System. There’s no kick-back to me for promoting this; it just makes good business sense. Follow cybersecurity best practices, and you will find that you strengthen customer loyalty.
Check out CTA’s website for information and download of “Recommended Best Practices for Securing Home Systems”.