Connected Home Security:
The best route is the simplest route

There are two certainties about the continued widespread development of connected homes. One, this phenomenon is happening before our eyes — consumers continue to bring home voice assistants, smart lighting, Wi‑Fi enabled thermostats and other gadgets. And two, too many of those IoT devices that make our homes connected aren’t being built with your privacy or security in mind. Instead, they’re built to ship quickly. Forgotten are the details of securing them from today’s threats.

This second fact has become abundantly clear as the number of DDoS attacks have risen sharply, largely due to the proliferation of vulnerable IoT devices available on the internet. Netscout is just the latest to confirm this, reporting that DDoS attacks have increased 39% in the past year.* Insecure connected devices are attractive to online criminals, as they can easily infect them with malware, turn them into bots and harness their bandwidth for coordinated denial of service attacks.

While such attacks don’t generally make the mainstream news, consumers are not completely oblivious to the inherent risks of bringing connected “things” into the home. In a recent F‑Secure survey, nearly half of respondents said their security concerns about connected devices affected their purchasing decisions.**

Still, as technology providers, we can’t expect the average user to take proactive steps to protect against online threats if our solutions aren’t intuitive and simple. Ideally, protecting a home from digital threats should be no more complicated for your customers than flipping a switch or plugging in a cable.

It starts with the home gateway

“Building a connected home with an insecure router is like building on quicksand, and that is some­thing that is going to have to change if we want smart homes to be secure,” says Andrea Barisani, F‑Secure’s head of hard­ware security.

Part of F‑Secure’s hard­ware work involves pressure-testing home routers that ISPs and retailers make available to their customers, in order to answer a key question: Can it withstand attacks throughout its lifecycle? F‑Secure helps router manufacturers and ISPs harden the security of their home gate­ways to build a rock-solid foundation for the connected home.

And it’s the humble home gate­way that is the foundation for securing the future. After all, the router is already perfectly positioned to act as a defense against incoming threats. It’s also the simplest, most sensible way to protect every smart device in the home.

That’s why for over two years now, F‑Secure has offered its secure Sense router directly to consumers. And that’s why the company has answered the call to make the adoption of connected home security simple for consumers who use home routers supplied by their internet service providers. F‑Secure now provides router makers and ISPs with an embedded Connected Home Security solution as a soft­ware development kit (SDK) mounted onto home Wi‑Fi routers.

This security cloud and artificial intelligence-powered kit turns a regular ISP Wi‑Fi router into one that protects home users and their internet-connected devices against malware, phishing and online tracking, and secures smart and IoT devices against cyber attacks.

This is the solution that secures consumers’ digital lives without burdening them with unnecessary information or actions. Operators can simply secure customers’ homes, whether those homes are already filled with connected things — or just beginning to be.

Outside the home

Of course, the need for security doesn’t end beyond the doorstep. The blanket of security that protects people’s connected homes must also cover them when on the go with their smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The simple way to secure consumers both at home and on the go is to provide a seamless combination of network security and end­point protection. In this model, network security through the home router works in tandem with end­point protection for devices capable of hosting security applications — laptops, smartphones and tablets. This way, all devices, both at home and away, are protected under one umbrella. F‑Secure’s Connected Home Security solution integrates security for all these devices into a single, seamless experience for end users.

More benefits for the whole family

As important as blocking cyber threats is, there is even more to Connected Home Security. The solution acts as a convenient window to the home network, allowing users to view and manage security for each and every device that’s connected to their home Wi‑Fi. This visibility gives users a greater feeling of control over their network and with it, more empowerment to solve network issues on their own.

While users gain visibility, parents also gain control over which devices their children are allowed to use to access the internet, and when. The solution lets parents set limits on their children’s internet usage by filtering out age-inappropriate or disturbing content and setting boundaries for online time.

Consumers need simple solutions for managing the complexities of the modern world — complexities such as the connected home and the risks that come with it. If your customers lock their doors at night, they probably want to lock down their internet connections as well. A holistic, seamless connected home security solution is the simplest way to do it.

*Source: Netscout Threat Intelligence Report H1 2019

**Source: Survey consisted of online inter­views of 4,000 age, gender and income-representative respondents from five countries, 800 respondents per country: US, UK, France, Germany, and Brazil.