How to Differentiate by Protecting the Smart Home

Keeping your home secure is at the forefront of new smart home technology. The Internet of Things (IoT) is bursting with the newest and greatest devices. Data from IoT Analytics shows that there are about 7 billion devices connected to the Internet in 2019 and anticipates that number skyrocketing to 21 billion IoT devices by 2025. Smart consumer electronics are a growing component in the consumer products section of IoT. This includes devices such as smart watches, kitchen appliances, home assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, IoT light bulbs, and security cameras and locks. With more and more people integrating smart devices into their homes and daily life, the need for adequate security measures is paramount.

Four Common Security Threats

It’s estimated that 80% of IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber security threats. Ultimately, any device that is connected to the Internet has the potential to become a security threat. Hackers and cyber criminals can wreak havoc on your network and sense of privacy. Here are four common cyber security threats to be aware of:

1. Data and identity theft via smart devices. Because most smart devices are considered “low-security,” they are also more susceptible to being hacked. Once hacked, the network and everything connected to it can be exposed, revealing sensitive private data to the hacker.

2. Location-based tracking. Smart home devices that feature location services pose as a threat because they can alert cyber attackers or other dangerous entities to home locations.

3. Using smart devices against you. When a smart home device is hacked, the attacker can gain control over the device itself, as well as other devices connected to a home network. That means the smart lock on your front door can be opened remotely by a cyber attacker, putting your home at risk for invasion.

4. Malicious websites. Malicious websites have been part of the Internet since the beginning. With homes becoming more connected through smart devices, harmful websites impact more than just computer speeds. Malicious websites, and by extension, hackers, can weaken a home network and act as an access point to your other devices.

Unique Opportunity for ISPs

While smart home devices can provide security opportunities against physical threats, cyber security is commonly cited as a source of concern for consumers when they are considering buying smart home devices. Ultimately, the steps taken to secure a home network can detect and prevent breaches in cyber security, protecting the consumer’s home and private data. Cyber-attacks happen, but Internet service providers have the unique opportunity to offer tools to consumers that not only foster improved network security and network performance but also give providers a competitive edge based on the solutions offered.

In addition to the steps you take as a consumer to secure your home network, most Internet service providers (ISPs) have established security protocols that run in the background to keep consumers safe. Many ISPs proactively monitor nefarious traffic and attacks to their network, oftentimes quarantining suspicious emails, websites or activity to protect their network and their customers. Home network protection offered by ISPs as a competitive feature, can provide their customers with preemptive, goodwill defense. ISPs can generate value of service and customer loyalty by establishing themselves as “solution integrators.” Providers that meet consumers’ high expectations for valuable content and a positive user experience promotes growth in the connected home ecosystem and growth as a business.

Use Advanced Analytics to Protect the Smart Home

A network-based security solution, like a managed Wi-Fi solution for consumers, creates a partnership between consumers and providers for holistic network monitoring that unifies all security functions.

Many digital attacks are characterized by new traffic patterns that have never been seen before, requiring analytics based solutions which can detect traffic outliers in real-time and block the attack in advance. Managed Wi-Fi systems are designed to detect these patterns and alert both the consumer and provider to potential threats and solutions. In the event of an attack, managed Wi-Fi software and ISP technicians can work together to block and control communication to the infected device. This is especially important in the smart home environment as it can prevent smart home devices from being remotely controlled.

The Solution: Optim Managed Service Assurance Platform

Optim Managed Service Assurance Platform is a cloud-based platform that gives service providers visibility into the home network, along with the ability to provide quick and effective remote troubleshooting. Optim includes big data analytics to show Wi-Fi performance and trends across the entire network, as well as machine learning algorithms that automatically identify anomalies and fix problems.

Actiontec partnered with F-Secure to add new security services to the Optim Managed Wi-Fi solution. Through this partnership, Optim provides homes with enhanced connected home protection and parental controls to protect consumers from malicious websites, hackers, spyware, phishing and other threats. As a result, Optim’s Managed Wi-Fi Service actively safeguards Wi-Fi networks by blocking harmful webpages and traffic to sites that are suspected to infect devices with viruses.

Optim uses a comprehensive dashboard that provides a holistic view of one’s home network. From the dashboard, consumers can access the devices connected to their network, manage Wi-Fi quality, and enable enhanced security options for threat detection and prevention, providing maximum protection to the devices connected to the network.

Offering Optim to customers provides an easy and efficient way for customers to manage their Wi-Fi, lowering the likelihood of customer churn. Optim also provides Internet service providers with a long-term, all-encompassing solution to protect their customer-premises equipment (CPE) investments.

Are you a Service Provider looking for more information on Optim Managed Service Assurance Platform? Please contact our Broadband Sales team directly at broadband-sales@actiontec.com.

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