Smart Homes, Not So Smart Security

smart homes

Smart Homes, Not So Smart Security

Internet-connected computing objects collectively known as smart home products have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Over 20 billion smart home products are estimated to be in homes by 2020. Research is being conducted into the security of web-enabled devices like locks and light bulbs that hackers could get into and tamper with. Researchers have discovered that hackers could gain access to critical security devices like cameras and locks through a web-enabled device like a smoke alarm.

An attack on a smart home is not like other attacks in the digital landscape. This kind of attack affects people’s physical safety. Smart home systems bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds, which is convenient, but risky.

Here is a seemingly innocent scenario that could compromise your safety. For instance, you want to change the temperature of your thermostat. You pull up your smart home app and tell it to cool you down. The app will then write a change to the target temperature variable in the centralized data store. The thermostat device will subsequently receive an update from the data store and change its temperature. A burglar can compromise one low-integrity product, like a sprinkler or a third-party lighting app, and modify a data store variable that another high-integrity product, such as a security alarm, depends on. You can imagine what the consequences to that would be.

The burglar only needs access to the same public internet network (like connecting to the same coffee shop wifi) as the victim to temporarily disable the smart home’s security system. At AWS Insurance, we know your house is one of your biggest investments and the place you and your family call home. With a comprehensive home insurance coverage policy with AWS Insurance, we’ll create a custom tailored plan that’s specific to your needs to get you financial protection and compensation for all of your belongings.

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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.