UK tightening security on smart home gadgets

The UK government has published a voluntary code of practice for manufacturers that shows how they can protect their smart home technologies against common attacks. The code aims to stop devices being hijacked and used to mount cyber-attacks, and stamp out designs that let cyber-thieves steal data. Two companies, HP and Hive Centrica, have already agreed to follow the code.

 Many consumers who opt for DIY smart security can’t troubleshoot

Consumers are buying DIY and smart home devices because they can install them themselves. But a significant number of people are leaving problems with these gadgets unattended because they don’t know how to troubleshoot. A new study from Parks Associates shows 12% of smart home device owners in U.S. broadband households report technical problems going unresolved in 2018 — a 240% increase from three years ago. DIY is gaining traction, but the report suggests professional installers are here to stay.

Security dealers embracing ‘dealer DIY’ to stay competitive

The spread of smart-home technology means innovation in the security industry is kicking into overdrive. The country’s largest security technology providers are being challenged by startups, and many of these smaller companies are offering solutions that let homeowners do their own security installation and maintenance. But as the industry doubles in size, more dealers and consumers are opting for a hybrid solution called “dealer DIY,” which combines dealer support with DIY installation. 

 Law enforcement has been requesting data from smart home devices

There is increasing focus on what happens to the data that some smart home devices collect, and on whether the makers of these devices respond to requests from law enforcement to see the information. In an informal survey of companies (which range from behemoths like Amazon to privately held startups offering smart home gadgets) it was found that some companies are transparent when it comes to how many requests they get from law enforcement, and how they respond. Other companies, however, are keeping that information close to the vest. 

Rival takes jab at Amazon/Ring, touts deal with European insurance provider—which is laser-focused on security—is battling with tech giants like Amazon and Google as smart home technology proliferates. Here is an interesting read on the company’s strategy.