In 1999, the Disney Channel had a movie about smart houses. The movie was years ahead of its time, because even today’s smart houses aren’t nearly as high tech. Fortunately, they don’t take their owners prisoner like “Pam” in the movie did.
Smart houses are starting to become much more sophisticated these days. There are a number of benefits of them. One is that they can be more secure than standard homes. However, the security systems will need to improve in the future before smart homes become more popular.
How Smart Security Has Evolved (and Will Continue to in the Future)
In recent years, I have seen some rather fancy home security apps and tools on the market. However, some of them had some serious flaws, which could leave homeowners at risk.
The smart lock is an example of a tool that needed to be improved upon. You can open a smart lock by either using the key or your smartphone. CNET’s Megan Wollerton warns that virtually any smart lock can be hacked. According to a test of 16 different smart locks, 75% lacked the BLE security to keep hackers at bay.
The security on the Quicklock, iBlulock and Plantraco models was even easier to exploit. Rather than relying on a smartphone, they used passwords. They are the easiest to bypass. At least locks that require a smartphone are more secure, because the hacker would need to either clone the signal of your phone or steal your phone first.
Fortunately, smart locks are poised to be more secure in the future. There are a number of authentication methods that will be more difficult to break. Some with rely on Iris (retinal) scanning. Iris scanners have already been used at Fort Knox and other secure facilities for years, but have recently begun to make their way to consumer homes.
The chance of a false positive from an Iris scan is only one in 1.5 million. That means the risk of a false positive is lower than anything except DNA.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways for hackers to exploit Iris scans. They could still create a replica of your Iris. However, this is much more difficult to do than cracking a password.
Many smart homes also can be monitored remotely through any mobile device. Services like the Vivint Smart Home and Abode Home Security Starter Kit are examples of some of the most sophisticated mobile monitoring tools available.
One of the biggest problems with smart homes to date is knowing what will happen after the power supply goes down. In some fully electronic homes, it would be impossible to enter afterwards. However, no smart homes are currently setup this way. The real risk is that the home could left vulnerable during a power outage.
Fortunately, newer smart home security systems have recognized this risk. They are installing power backups, so the risk of the entire security system going down is much more remote. They would still be at risk during an electrical storm, but would the risk of a security flaw is much lower.
Drones will also play an interesting role in security in the future. Many smart homes already use drones to make certain tasks easier. However, in the future, smart homes will have drones equipped with cameras to monitor them from a distance. It will be more difficult for hackers to disable them, which will keep families much safer.
Smart Home Security is Changing at an Unprecedented Rate
Smart homes have evolved significantly in recent years. They will be much safer and more secure than the homes we grew up in. Of course, some of the most promising technology is still years away.