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Online protection, privacy, and peace of mind

Michael Sandelson

22.10.18 5 min. read

Securing PCs and mobile devices isn’t easy. But this task is nothing compared to protecting a connected home where almost everything could go online.

The connected home is a huge opportunity for service providers around the globe. It allows you to strengthen your position in the home and fuel growth for the foreseeable future. But as you already know, securing all the different “smart” devices in the home is very difficult without embedding a security solution in the router that helps protect all of them at once.

It is obvious that customers need to deploy essential protection in a market where there are probably millions of devices without basic security controls.

A report by Gartner* called Market Insight: Address 3 Critical Security Issues to Differentiate Yourself in the Connected Home Market raises the issue of connected home devices’ complete lack of security standards.

“The connected home device is a patchwork of security measures and technologies ranging from “no security” (because inexpensive commodity sensor devices lack the bill of materials [BOM] to include security) to embedded device security and everything in between.”

”Some connected home device vendors make use of hard-coded passwords for their products, which are an easy hacker target,” the report also states.

“An afterthought”

Brutal price competition and margin hunt may result in manufacturers skipping security features altogether in their race to gain market share.

According to Gartner, “many of these products, especially white goods, were not designed with high security levels in mind, and hence security implementation is often just an afterthought.”

“There are many products on the market that do not meet even basic security controls, such as the user being able change the password of the device. These “black sheep” may drag down the entire industry as being regarded as “not secure enough” despite many positive examples,” write the report’s authors.

Moreover, slow replacement presents a unique security challenge. Consumers do not replace many items in their homes – such as refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners and coffee machines – nearly as often as they replace their PCs or smartphones.

This means any new security initiative that aims to protect connected home devices will likely take a full decade or more to secure all the devices in a home.

Protection, privacy, peace of mind

So how do consumers secure their connected homes like they secure their PCs? Law enforcement is already making the case about this, and there isn’t just one answer to this question. Here are four suggestions that could work for you.

  1. Family Protection.
    Most of your customers have kids and most of those kids spend a good part of their childhood online. Why shouldn’t the safety and healthy boundaries that parents care so much about in the real world also exist online? F-Secure’s solutions are family ready. They protect the entire household while allowing parents to set healthy boundaries for online usage on every device. By focusing on family protection, you can make sure your connected home is a safe for everyone you love.
  2. A Secure Home.
    If your customers use smart cameras or smart locks to secure their property, they’re prime targets for the Secure Home approach. As you offer these IoT devices as part of your physical safety offering, you can also provide a way to secure them, along with anything else they own that goes online. We all worry about criminals in our neighbourhood but online criminals can attack you from thousands of miles away. With this approach, your customers can relax worry-free while protecting themselves against unwanted visitors and digital threats.
  3. Privacy Hero.
    Show your customers you care about their privacy with a promise to protect their online privacy wherever they go. Young adults and families have proven to be very conscious about online tracking given that they are so mobile and connected. These concerns will only grow as more and more devices in their home go online, this positioning puts you ahead of the curve.
  4. Peace of Mind.
    This is a comprehensive offering that allows your customers to take total control over their digital lives. If your family wants full security protection regardless of where they connect –at home, in the car, on public WiFi—this solution covers them and all of their devices everywhere. And by pairing this solution with your broadband offering, you build the promise of peace of mind into your brand.

A helping hand

The weight of these concerns will prompt industry-wide action, eventually. Meanwhile, consumers will have to seek their own ways to secure against these challenges for now.

Or will they? Together, we can help them. Gartner lists F-Secure as a vendor to watch in the IoT security space for its SENSE product solution.

This solution is now available to service providers as a software development kit (SDK) mounted onto home WiFi routers. With SENSE, you can protect your customers now and in the future.

Where others see challenges, you should see an opportunity.

*Gartner Inc., Market Insight: Address 3 Critical Security Issues to Differentiate Yourself in the Connected Home Market, Annette Zimmermann, Saniye Alaybeyi, 26 April 2018.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Michael Sandelson

22.10.18 5 min. read

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