A survey released in December sends a clear message to connected home device manufacturers. Don’t sell me a device unless you’ve locked down security first.

Concern over connected device security has continued to grow. More and more connected devices have proliferated in the home, accompanied by a rash of high-profile hacks.

Recently, a Nebraska father released video in December from inside his home that showed a hacker attempting to speak with his daughter. The hacker was using a hacked Amazon Ring Camera surveillance system that featured a camera and speaker.

This and a host of other breaches have prompted a direct product warning from a host of consumer protection associations: ‘The dangers associated with these products pose a threat to families and the public. As groups dedicated to protecting consumer privacy and safety, we are issuing this official product warning: Do not buy Amazon Ring cameras.’

Two challenges for connected home device manufacturers:

1) Either from ignorance or laziness, consumers often don’t take the necessary steps to protect themselves from in-home hackers.

2) As they hear about more and more in-home hacks, and as confirmed in the Karamba survey (more detail below), consumers increasingly expect connected device manufacturers to lock down security.

A recent survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S. shows that consumers are getting fed up. The survey was conducted by Karamba Security, which provides embedded security solutions to connected-device manufacturers in a number of vertical markets, including automotive, as well as for connected home products. Key findings include:

  • 87% of respondents said they believe connected home device manufacturers should be responsible for securing products from hackers.
  • 72% of respondents said they would refuse to use a connected Internet of Things (IoT) device if they found out it wasn’t equipped with embedded security.
  • 81% of respondents think IoT devices will become a bigger target for hackers in the next five years.

Half of respondents indicated they were as concerned about a hacker accessing one of their connected devices as they were about a thief physically entering their home.

 

As a result, as the industry gears up for the Consumer Electronics Show in early 2020, the product warning and survey results should send a clear message.

If device manufacturers expect consumers to invite their devices into their homes, they need to be much better house guests than they have been thus far. They can do this by making sure they are not bringing a host of security and privacy vulnerabilities with them.

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