We tend to think of smart home systems as providing an added layer of security. After all, IoT devices offer greater transparency and accessibility when it comes to protecting homes. The truth, however, is that smart home systems also present a security vulnerability.
To combat the risk posed by smart home systems, blockchain technology is emerging as a viable defense. Through blockchain, we can place our tech-assisted homes beyond an added layer of valuable security.
The threats posed by smart home systems
You’re likely aware of smart home devices and the features they offer. From running inventory on groceries to monitoring access points to a home, the benefits of smart home technology are widespread. In fact, smart homes and their innovative appliances not only offer convenience but can also add value to a home for the homeowner.
In today’s competitive housing market, it’s no wonder that these IoT devices are gaining in popularity. Because greater security is one of their primary benefits, smart homes systems make homeowners feel safer. This is because smart homes offer automation of security through cameras that monitor exteriors, locks that can be engaged with the push of a button, and even smartphone notifications for any irregularities in the home.
Who wouldn’t want so much power and transparency over their family’s security?
Unfortunately, however, smart home systems aren’t perfect. Like any other networked device, these tools can pose a threat and an access point for hackers. Security flaws can propagate in IoT devices, creating threats that the average homeowner is unlikely to be aware of. These threats can take a variety of forms, including:
- Information leaks
- Malware infiltration
- Service denial
- Execution failures
- Data theft
Facing this dangerous digital environment, every homeowner should take care with their smart home systems, exploring a range of options to promote greater security. Fortunately, advancements in technology have given us more options.
Right now, blockchain is one of the most promising of these secure technologies.
The protective power of blockchain
Popularized by its use in the cryptocurrency market, blockchain systems are making all kinds of cybersecurity solutions possible. Blockchain is a decentralized method of storing data through highly secure linked data nodes. As a result, it offers greater security and transparency in the ways that users’ information is stored.
When it comes to IoT devices like smart home systems, blockchain has a lot to offer when it comes to security. This security comes primarily through the ways blockchain can mitigate the failures of IoT infrastructures to produce more secure solutions.
Here are some of the ways blockchain improves the security of smart homes:
● Blocks out unauthorized users
One of the most impressive features of blockchain technology is its ability to streamline authentication. Each user and device is given private access keys that interact only with specific nodes in the blockchain. This means that accessing the information on the chain is possible only if the key is known.
To decrypt this information, a hacker would have to utilize massive amounts of computing power just for access to a limited range of data. This mitigates the incentive for attempting a hack at all, making it difficult for bad actors to infiltrate the system.
While users are still at risk in terms of phishing schemes and identity theft, nodes remain generally safer on a blockchain. If smart home access is restricted behind blockchain authorization, the home network will stand a much better chance at staving off attacks.
● Prevents data leaks and duplication
In a similar vein, hackers will have great difficulty altering or stealing any data over a blockchain. This is great news for smart home systems, which typically include access to home cameras, private life routines, shopping habits, and more personal information that you don’t want a criminal to have access to.
Blockchain technology achieves the immutability of data through its linked network. By cryptographically connecting data through hash encryption, a blockchain makes it impossible to alter information without altering the entirety of the chain. For a hacker to get anywhere in stealing or duplicating data points, they’d have to alter the ledger for at least 51% of all servers.
If a smart home’s IoT devices were all mapped over a blockchain, then a cyber attacker would have to expend too much computing power to make the effort worthwhile. Unless you keep millions of dollar’s worth of artifacts lying around your home, blockchain network protection will likely prevent most of these attacks.
● Segments information over a decentralized network
Another reason blockchain is so secure is that it segments and spreads information over a decentralized network. Unlike a private server that hosts all its vulnerable data in one place, blockchain makes related information hard to find. This means hackers have to work harder to connect the pieces.
For a smart home, this protection can be invaluable. Even if an attacker happens to gain access to certain functions of your home system, they won’t be able to take over the whole network as easily. As a result, you can better prevent system shutdowns, malware, and identity theft.
The potential of blockchain in home security, however, goes far beyond these three points. With secure and immutable data systems, we can better take ownership of all our data through highly protected authorization keys. Then, the decentralized nature of the system makes data protection better.
While comprehensive blockchain smart home systems might be a ways off, understanding these tools now can help secure your smart home.
Securing your smart home through blockchain
Start the process of streamlining your home security by recognizing cybersecurity threats and how to protect yourself. Right now, that should be done through password protection, mapping IoT networks and access points, and using tools like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
From there, you can begin to innovate with blockchain. Explore the world of these decentralized data systems and the home security companies that use them. With blockchain, we stand to build a safer world.