With all your IoT devices transmitting sensitive data – you want to ensure it's secure. You would hope security is a priority to manufacturers of the devices you purchase, but even those with the best intentions can leave a hole open to exploit from ever-capable hackers.
F-Secure has long been a trusted guardian of your technology, and many people will have used their desktop and mobile solutions to help ensure malicious activity is blocked. The company is bringing their security expertise into the IoT with their 'Sense' router; designed to keep everyone who uses your devices safe.
"People are starting to buy all kinds of new smart devices to use in their homes, and we know that these devices are already being hacked," said Samu Konttinen, F-Secure Executive Vice President, Consumer Security. "We've seen footage from nanny cams streamed online without people's knowledge or consent, and it's been proven that intruders can use something as simple as a connected light bulb to get access to people's homes. Criminals are constantly developing new ways of turning people's technology against them, and security solutions need to evolve to meet this challenge."
F-Secure takes a double-edged approach to IoT security by detecting potential threats at both network, and the device level. "Sense creates a new WiFi network for your home – so you take all your existing devices and move those over to it," says Mika Majapuro, Product Director at F-Secure.
"Now we can see traffic coming in and out your home, if we see anything weird then it's sent to our cloud for analysis. Once it's analysed, we can either block it or let it through. It's based on reputation, so if it's from Netflix then it will be allowed through."
The need to protect devices is more apparent than ever. In December last year, news broke about kids toy maker VTech being hacked and leaking data of 6.4 million children. It's a point raised by Majapuro, who says: "You might have it where a Barbie doll is recording everything the kids are doing, and sending it to a third-party."
With all your devices connected to a single network, it's possible a vulnerability in one device could lead to compromising others. "A hacker may attack your toaster, so they can get to your home network, and from your home network they can get to your PC where they start looking for your bank credentials."
F-Secure monitors device-to-device traffic in order to help prevent such attacks. What could be seen as an issue for smart home users is that Sense does not fully-support devices connected by IoT standards like Zigbee and Z-Wave. You may connect a hub, but Sense can only see and block traffic coming from the hub to its router and not between devices.
You can pre-order Sense from here, and it's due to ship from early-Summer.
Do you plan on using an IoT security device like Sense? Let us know in the comments.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their IoT use-cases? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.