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Home Security

Bullguard launches smart home cybersecurity solution

960 540 Stuart O'Brien

Consumer cybersecurity expert Bullguard has launched Dojo, a comprehensive smart home cybersecurity solution.

Dojo is the only consumer cybersecurity product built from the ground up as an enterprise-grade, network security service for the smart home. There are billions of connected Internet of Things devices on the market today – from smart alarms, thermostats, baby monitors, smart appliances, lighting, locks and more. Dojo by BullGuard is built to protect them all. Available exclusively in the United States at launch (with the UK launch to follow), Dojo by BullGuard retails for $199 USD, including the first 12-months of service, and is available for purchase online at amazon.com, BestBuy.com and on shelves in brick-and-mortar BestBuy stores nationwide.

“Dojo by BullGuard is the cornerstone of a smart, connected home. It safeguards consumers’ privacy and protects their entire home network, but is also delivered in a way that is extremely easy for them to set up and use,” said Paul Lipman, CEO of BullGuard. “A smart home can quickly become a fool’s paradise when IoT devices are not properly secured. Dojo seamlessly protects the privacy and security of a consumer’s data, devices, home and family by monitoring the home network 24/7 against cyber threats. No other product provides the unrivalled deep multi-layered levels of protection as Dojo.”

Dojo by BullGuard provides enterprise-grade, multi-layered security software capable of handling a wide range of cybersecurity threats, with a major focus on protecting smart home devices. The Dojo by BullGuard smart home cybersecurity solution includes:

  • Dojo (hardware): A sleekly designed ‘pebble’ that is easy to set up and free to move about the home while its dock remains connected to the Wi-Fi router. The Dojo pebble illuminates rings of light when suspicious or malicious activity is detected on the user’s Wi-Fi network. Yellow rings indicate that a risk has been detected and automatically mitigated, while red rings of light indicate that an action must be taken in the Dojo smartphone app. Green rings of light indicate that the user’s network is secured and their privacy is intact.
  • Dojo smartphone app (iOS and Android): Allows consumers to interact with the Dojo pebble via a simple, intuitive messaging interface, which grants them visibility and control of their Wi-Fi network and connected devices and informs them of potential cyber threats.
  • Dojo Intelligence: Dojo’s cybersecurity engine provides a tailored security policy for each device on the home Wi-Fi network. This policy is enforced by the Dojo device, which constantly monitors and mitigates both internal and external attacks. Dojo’s cloud-based platform utilises highly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, continuously analysing device and service patterns to protect a consumer’s privacy even better over time. The more Dojo familiarises itself with a home’s smart devices, the smarter it becomes in detecting and mitigating cyber attacks and privacy breaches.

“Many IoT devices are notoriously insecure and it is relatively easy for hackers to exploit their vulnerabilities,” added Yossi Atias, General Manager, IoT Security of BullGuard. “We’ve seen major privacy breaches in recent months caused by compromised devices, including Mirai, the largest ever DDOS attack launched from an IoT botnet, smart TVs hacked by the CIA, and even smart Teddy Bears go from cuddly to creepy.

“Device manufacturers often sacrifice security for speed to market and consumers are unwittingly paying the price. Dojo solves the IoT security conundrum and protects every smart home device to ensure security and privacy.”

www.bullguard.com

Guest Blog, Jason McComiskey: 3 innovations that are changing the future of home security

237 151 Jack Wynn

Jason McComiskey works for home security specialists Evander, and in this article he explores how improved technology and communication are changing the landscape of the home security market.

As technology continues to change the world around us, new and innovative developments are continuously enhancing our lives for the better. Communication is easier than it’s ever been, and not just between people, but between the devices that play such a big role in our daily lives. This internet of things allows for a much more hands-off approach compared to the traditional human-led services.

Home security is one of the areas where technology is developing at a fast pace. Previously, the platform would consist of additional locks and alarms requiring a manual setting in order to be effective. The alarm systems of the past often consisted of multiple devices, wiring, and physical input — now, a wireless, remote approach is possible and achievable for a large part of the population.

So what can the consumer market expect from home security technology as it enters the exciting digital age?

Wireless alarm systems

Wireless alarm systems have been around for a while, but it’s now possible to obtain a relatively affordable system which is linked to a smartphone, giving consumers more control than ever before. Home security specialists like Yale are now producing wireless alarm systems for consumers that are very affordable and extremely effective.

These systems can be linked up with motion detectors, video cameras, and door and window contacts. When the alarm is activated, a message is sent to the homeowner’s phone to alert them, and they have the choice of activating or deactivating it remotely.

The image and video sensors can be set up to automatically send a picture or short video to the recipient, so they can see what set off the alarm — allowing for a more effective response. This can also be very useful to the police as a piece of evidence should the alarm be set off by a genuine intruder.

Smart locks

Smart locks are being developed which can be linked to a smartphone via an app or Bluetooth. Innovators like Kwikset, Schlage, and August are producing products that can be locked and unlocked via an app, rather than through a traditional key. This provides more flexibility for dwellings with multiple residents, and is also useful when an individual may need to access the property on a one-time-only basis, with the assistance of a temporary code which will only work a set number of times.

The technology found within smart locks also allows for data collection and reporting, so consumers can monitor who has used the door and when they’ve used it. Potentially, this could be a useful tool for those who need to know whether their home is empty or not, dictating the activation of other home security devices.

Smartphone automation

Many of these new home security products greatly rely on smartphones as their main control panel, thanks to their incredible convenience and continuous proximity to the user. Being able to control almost anything via a smartphone is an extremely useful resource, particularly for those who are away from their property for much of the day, or for longer periods of time.

There are now devices available which allow consumers to control various aspects of their home remotely, enhancing their home security options. For example, being able to control lights via a smartphone is very useful in the dark winter months, enabling homeowners to turn lighting on and off to make it look as though there is someone at home. Similarly, individual power outlets can be linked up so that any device, whether it’s a lamp or a coffee maker, can be switched on or off remotely.

In the future, we expect this technology to become even more interconnected and convenient, with biometrics, such as fingerprint and retina scanning, locking systems, and clever reporting, which will allow devices to streamline and personalise the service they provide.

Guest Blog, Cesare Garlati: Securing the smart home – taking control of your mini-data centre…

800 450 Jack Wynn

Smart technology has made it easier for people to explore what’s happening inside their homes and take control of things such as heating and cooling, electricity consumption and entertainment options. But before we knew it, the population turned their homes into mini data centres — ones that don’t have system administrators to worry about the configurations and security controls. There is one appliance at the forefront of smart home technology and that is the home gateway device – generally, a Wi-Fi router. 

The router acts as a central hub connecting most of a consumer’s devices, yet what many don’t realise is that the hub is the first, last and only line of defence to every appliance in the home. The router is a door to a consumer’s financial data and personal information. As such, it needs to be secured, just as an individual would lock their front door to prevent burglars.

While most are aware of protecting their laptops and even mobile phones with anti-virus software, it must also be stressed that digital security in the home doesn’t end with these devices alone. Because of the way all electronics can be connected through a home gateway device, it is important for security efforts to limit lateral movement that invites attackers to jump from one to the next.

When it comes to securing internet of things (IoT) in the home, consumers and security professionals can adopt and share the following resources to improve safety practices:

Update the software of the home gateway device at least once per quarter:  As soon as vulnerabilities are publicised, hackers will be scanning these devices almost instantly to take advantage of them. If a user has purchased their own router, they are responsible for making sure the software is up-to-date, and for those who subscribe as part of a service, the provider will push these updates.

Make sure the admin console on a home router is password protected: Many people will have a password protecting access to their Wi-Fi networks, but this is a separate password for the admin console. Make sure the password is unique and not the same as any others used for devices.

Ensure you use the WPA2 protocol and protect it with a strong password: This is extremely important for consumers using legacy devices, as older protocols including wired equivalent privacy (WEP) was found to be an insecure method.

Activate media access control (MAC) filtering: A consumer can set up devices on their router using this unique identifier so that rogue devices will not be able to connect. The router will then tell the consumer what is connected to it to allow restricted access to any unknown devices.

Turn off Wi-Fi protected set-up (WPS): After initial set-up of the gateway, WPS is no longer required nor is it robust or reliable.

Do not open any ports on the router firewall: The firewall is the main security feature built into a home gateway device and acts as a filter for traffic entering and leaving the device. However, there is no good reason for it to ever allow for a household to be reached by the outside. Service providers may request a port to be opened, but users should know that it is only for their convenience so they can offload and speed up service delivery.

Never enable the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) feature on a device: UPnP is a consumer device feature that can be seen as ‘horrific’ by some for security as it opens a port which can enable malware and attackers to get in. Although vendors have the right to ask users to enable it for a better experience, for example in gaming, but in reality it does not need to be enabled.

Don’t bother hiding the Service Set Identifier (SSID): The SSID for a Wi-Fi router isn’t the best method of security anyway, so don’t bother hiding it as it is a misconception that it will make things more secure. If you do hide it, all that will happen is that our end points will have to work harder and therefore consume more power.

Practice security by separation and take full advantage of the ‘guest network’ feature on modern routers: The guest network on modern routers will allow lower trust users to access Wi-Fi, for example, but not have the same level of privileges. It is secured by a separate password and isolates devices connected to it from the main unit. A consumer can use this for people coming into their homes and, going a step further – why not act on the assumption that all devices are compromised and put all of them that leave the home network on it, for example; tablets, mobile phones, laptops, etc.

 

Cesare Garlati is the chief security strategist at prpl Foundation. He is an internationally renowned leader in mobile and cloud security and the former vice president of mobile security at Trend Micro and co-chair of the Mobile Working Group at Cloud Security Alliance.