Cybersecurity concerns hindering smart home uptake

Oct. 30, 2019
According to Parks Associates, 71% of U.S. broadband households that own smart devices are concerned about cybersecurity. Twenty-five percent of those who do not own ...

According to Parks Associates, 71% of U.S. broadband households that own smart devices are concerned about cybersecurity. Twenty-five percent of those who do not own smart home devices are also concerned about privacy and security, which prevents them from buying smart devices.

"Cybersecurity has been a common label for protecting the transmission of consumer data, but as devices evolve to offer more services and interconnected use cases, that narrow view of cybersecurity is inadequate to protect today's connected consumer," said Dr. Kenneth Wacks, contributing analyst, Parks Associates. "Home devices store data, need updates, and perform multiple functions. All of these new capabilities create additional vulnerabilities to cybersecurity attacks."

By adopting a security-by-design approach, product and service developers and manufacturers can protect consumers from risks resulting from increasing data flows between devices, the proliferation of wireless networks, and the growing amount of data stored on each device, Parks believes. Advanced privacy policies with opt-in provisions can also help build trust between the user and the device provider.

"We are at a confluence of social, political, and technical events that make increased cybersecurity timely and create advantages for companies that take a leadership role in this area," Wacks said. "Consumers are becoming increasingly aware that their personal data are under threat and can be misused. Building in privacy protection and security-by-design during product development is less costly for manufacturers than fixing problems after a breach. These breaches can also do significant damage to a brand."

Other findings indicate:

  • 63% of U.S. broadband households are concerned about cybersecurity.
  • More than 40% of U.S. broadband households do not trust companies to keep their data safe.
  • 54% of U.S. broadband households do not feel they get much in return for sharing data.        
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