The number of smart devices in our homes is rising rapidly, but the recent malware attacks using smart devices have highlighted the huge security issues that must be solved before they can safely be in every living room.
Smart device vulnerability and consequences
Increasing consumer acceptance for smart devices is fantastic for smart home manufacturers, brands, and retailers, but it has brought a downside: smart devices in greater numbers in the marketplace have caught the attention of hackers who are now exploiting a known problem for many devices: their vulnerability to malware. To understand the scale of the problem, over the last year, more than 1.5 million devices were infected by just one strain: the Mirai botnet. Once hackers have successfully infected a device the personal information is stolen and the device can be used in attacks on internet infrastructure.
On such attack took down the Internet service company, Dyn, and in doing so Netflix, Twitter, the BBC, and many other leading websites for a period of time. There have also been reports of it disrupting service for 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers. You may be producing a secure smart device, but as it is part of WiFi network, it is susceptible to infection from other devices. As a manufacturer or seller of smart devices, this can leads to a loss in consumer confidence, significant costs to provide software updates to solve the problem – or even to possible legal issues as victims might seek compensation.
Securifi’s IoT Service
Securifi’s IoT security service launched several weeks ago, addresses that problem. Available for Almond 3, our award-winning mesh router with a built-in smart home hub, it is able to offer unique protection.
The Mirai botnet and other malware have succeeded so easily for the following reasons: many IP cameras and other devices have left open telnet ports that users are unable to secure; even if they are not using telnet, universal plug and plug has been left enabled exposing other ports; and users have failed to change the default password; a list of which are freely available on the Internet for hackers to use. To solve this our IoT security service scans all the devices on your network to check for whether there are open telnet and https ports and also default passwords on those ports. It will let you know more about the problem, suggest what to do, and also allow you to block the device from your network while you solve the problem.
Check for infected devices
As well as checking for vulnerable devices, it can also detect if a device is already infected. To do so Almond’s IoT security service monitors to see if your devices are talking to the right server. It uses machine learning to determine unusual traffic patterns, learning from your device metadata to see how frequently it’s pinging and how much data it’s transmitting, among others.
Securifi’s unique platform
A router is the gateway between a home’s WiFi devices and the wider Internet, making it the best device to secure your whole network. But Almond 3 and the Almond platform can offer even greater protection and convenience compared to other routers: as a router and smart home hub in one, it has superior knowledge of your smart and network devices and, at the same time, enables the user to control all their smart devices, security, and WiFi through just one app.
The Internet has made access to hardcore pornography, violent videos, and the ability to strike up friendships with strangers a simple process for kids. Most websites with adult content merely ask you to confirm your age. The emergence of a private device for everyone with Internet capability rather than the family computer means children are free from the fear or embarrassment that their family will see the sites they visit on the communal computer. Also, when they have their own device, it is much harder to implement browser-based surfing controls.
With Securifi’s service, the parental controls are on the router enabling you to see and control all the devices on the network through the Almond app. It addresses the shortcomings of blocking: it classifies browsing history for each device on your network and also gives it a rating. For example, Amazon.com goes under “Shopping and E-commerce”, while a website like Ashleymadison.com under Dating”. Viewing web history using the movie rating helps you make sense of your kid’s online activity in a much shorter time. It is then possible to have a discussion with them about the content they are consuming.
Our platform has a number of other parental controls including voice activation.
Availability and Awards
Our subscription-based service was launched on Almond 3 on January 23, 2017. This service will be rolled out to other Almond routers including Almond 2015 and Almond (A1A) in a couple of weeks.
Since launch, it has already garnered excellent critical reviews. It has also been selected as one of five finalists in the Privacy & Security category of the 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards.
To get an understanding of all the features including visuals please go to our website. You can also go to our blog for an in-depth article on how we tested our solution.
MWC 2017 Meetings
If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of Securifi’s team at MWC 2017 or at any time please click here.