Smart doorbells not so smart, security research discovers just how insecure top devices are

Our homes are becoming increasingly full of gadgets, from autonomous hoovers, to smart speakers, light bulbs, alarm clocks and doorbells. Our thirst for automation in the search of convenience has never been stronger.

For all the positive benefits that come from these “Internet of Things (IOT)” devices, there is a darker side. The more we integrate our homes with connected technology, the higher the risk we have of cyber hacks breaching the physical walls of our homes.

The consumer watchdog, through a Which? investigation, carried out in partnership with NCC through September and October 2020, tested 11 of the most popular smart doorbells. Products tested included some of the most popular bought through Amazon and Ebay.

The investigation found serious security issues with all of them. Security issues ranged from weak password policies, to lack of data encryption. In some tests it was found to be possible to use the doorbell to bridge across the home network, stealing the router password and taking over other smart devices in the home. Worryingly, one example was found where a smart doorbell model was sending network names and passwords to servers in China.

Such insecure devices pose not only a security problem that allow thieves access to your daily routines, but also has implications for your personal data. The ICO highlights that “Data protection laws require the collection and use of personal data to be fair and transparent”. Quite clearly, consumers are not aware of the problems these types of devices can cause them, and where their personal data could end up.

As the world becomes evermore interconnected, security and cyber topics that were once reserved to company IT departments are now becoming conversations needed at home. This becomes even more real as many people work remotely at home, using a mix of business devices and lifestyle devices on the same network.

Talk to Fundamentals First about securing both your work and personal technology in the office and at home, reducing your risk of personal and company sensitive data being stolen.

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