Protecting your data inside the Home of the Future

Protecting your data inside the Home of the Future

July 16, 2019 36 By Kailee Schamberger



(techno music) – The home of the future
will be more secure than the house of the past, because it's protected by
cutting edge technology. The front door has a smart
lock, there are cameras around the perimeter that can
give us a live video feed, and our front doorbell can alert us when someone's approaching. All this tech is meant to
instill absolute confidence that I'm as secure as I
can be from any intruders. But tucked away quietly in
a corner of my home office is this, a simple unassuming printer. And in the home of the
future, it has the potential to be an open window to my digital self. (techno music) – All these connected devices are somewhat like windows
you're adding to this house. All of them are an opening
that needs to be secured, an opening into the network
in this case, into your data. The general security of your network is only as strong as its weakest link. – This is Nadir Izrael, co-founder and CTO of Armis Security. His job is to assess and
secure computer systems. All the devices we see in this
home are in fact computers. These are not just devices, they run code, they do everything your laptop can do, except they lack the inherent security that you can put on your laptop. – So I'm used to having my computer have anti-virus software, that's common but the
other devices, the printer? – Right, these used to
be dumb simple devices, but now they are basically computers. That printer actually runs
a standard operating system. A very old one too. And that's very usual these days. What that means? It can itself contract viruses, malware, so it's not just a printer. – Or a thermostat, or a refrigerator, or a ceiling fan, or any number of devices that populate the internet of things. As we learned in our last
episode of connecting this home, internet of things devices
are still in their infancy. As a result, products
are designed more often with connectivity first
and security second. Okay, so you might be asking, should I be nervous
that my smart light bulb could be used to hack
into my bank account? Actually, it's not likely. – It's rarely the case where someone would
target you specifically and your devices. What's more common is that
you're basically a target of a wide scale campaign
that's opportunistic. – He's right. Most cyber attacks aren't
targeted at specific people. Since they rarely make much
money off any single account. Hackers are trying to take over thousands of accounts at a time. So the best course of action is making yourself less of a
target compared to other users. And it's not that difficult. Even basic security measures can put you ahead of many others. And in most cases using services like two factor authentication would put you in the top
five percent of accounts. – It's basically around
changing passwords, keeping software up to date, closing down connections you don't use, using password protection where you can, everything that you can do to kind of lower your
profile, secure things. For example when you have a car alarm, it doesn't prevent a very motivated person from coming and taking your car. It just makes that care less
of a target of opportunity. – There is however, another source of valuable data in the home. Its occupants. (techno music) In our home of the future, I can control almost every
device with just my voice alone. Thanks to our Alexa and a slew
of Alexa enabled products. But these abilities are
also able to be tracked, cataloged, and stored. Building out a profile of
my behaviors inside my home. And for tech's biggest companies, that data on my home life
is extremely valuable. – An analogy could be the wild west. You know when it was
all about the homestead. Grabbing the land. Having the square footage. Where the real value was what
do you own under that land. We're advancing into all of
this new digital interfaces while not considering the
mining right to the real value which really is the data. – This is Anne Boysen. A futurist who runs a
strategic consulting business here in Texas. And she doesn't see this
business model changing. – The whole incentive is to share data, and I don't see that ending anytime soon. We're going to have to at
some level opt in to that. – What a concept. Privacy as a commodity. – Right, exactly. Your home life becomes commodified, because you can use
your data as a currency. You can use it to offset the costs that you always would have had and that becomes part
of the business model. Take Vizio, a TV manufacturer who made a name for themselves
offering quality TV's at aggressively competitive prices. Part of the reason they were
able to offer their product at such a reduced rate was
that they were collecting and selling their users data, and in 2017 Vizio had to pay
2.2 million dollars in fines because of illegal data collection on more than 11 million TV's. Despite those fines and all the bad press, Vizio TV's are still popular, and are still collecting
this kind of data. Only now consumers have
to choose to opt in. Instead of being signed up automatically. But it feels like a stretch that customers would
read the terms of service before making a purchase. – If you're struggling to get by, you don't have the luxury
to think about your privacy, and then you become much
more easily a target for someone who will be willing to trade their personal data
for that kind of convenience. – I don't have a personal
assistant in my house. I don't have Alexa, or
Echo, or Google Home, and the reason is that I
don't wanna be recorded 24/7 and I understand maybe the processing has to happen somewhere else, but that's something that
as a consumer I object to. And that's why I don't have that device. – Companies are already
starting to hear the new demands and the fears from their consumers. Particularly in the
aftermath of the scandal with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, started a new awareness
where people started to make more demands of
the companies around them. – We didn't take a broad enough
view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake,
and it was my mistake, and I'm sorry. – Well we've already
recently seen in the EU, the sweeping new privacy
legislation called the GDPR which already now have huge consequences for technology companies
that are collecting data. I think we might be seeing some similar types of legislation. Perhaps not as pervasive, so we're starting to see already that the tech companies
are starting to adopt a much more holistic view
where it's not only about what can we do technology wise, but what do people actually
want in their homes. – While governments, companies, and public opinion try to create order in this wild west of data collection, the best thing we can do as consumers and users of these devices is
be aware of the trade offs. Because if we're gonna
fully secure our home, we need to first decide
what's worth protecting. Thank you so much for watching. Now you've seen how we're
securing our home of the future, but what devices would you use, and how would you protect them. Let us know in the comments below and we'll see you next week with more.