The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is offering installers of smart home technology products a new cybersecurity checklist for Internet-connected devices. The Connected Home Security Checklist Tool, based on CTA’s Device Security Best Practices white paper, details security protocols for installing and configuring products to help protect consumers and their smart home devices from unwanted malware or hackers.
“Good cybersecurity practices are critical at the installer level – one of the first lines of defense against security breaches,” says Melissa Andresko, chair of CTA’s TechHome Division and communications director at Lutron Electronics. “To better safeguard consumers’ privacy and sensitive information, CTA created the first-ever tool designed by installers, for installers, that outlines existing best practices, standards and methods for today's smart home security challenges.”
The tool is mobile-friendly and ideal for job sites, offering installers a quick reference of industry practices for topics including passwords, networks, modems and routers, VPNs and Z-Wave/ZigBee.
To ensure consumers are well informed about the work completed in their homes by professionals, the tool also e-mails customers a comprehensive assessment of the security steps performed, as well as recommendations.
The Checklist Tool delivers numerous benefits by:
- Outlining existing best solutions to current and forthcoming smart home security challenges;
- Providing customers with peace of mind through enhanced protection against smart home/connected home related threats;
- Comprehensively cataloging the installed connected systems in a home;
- Reducing liability to professional installers by providing an industry approved guide; and
- Adding value to the services of CTA member professional installers, setting them apart in the marketplace by using documented recommended practices or processes for selecting products, systems, installation and maintenance.
“As more consumers understand how consumer technology is changing our lives for the better, and our homes become increasingly more connected and complex, our industry will see a wave of business,” says Dan Fulmer, CTA TechHome division board member and one of the developers of the best practices. “We are enthusiastic and ready for this remarkable opportunity. But we recognize that trust is at the heart of the smart home business, and to succeed we need to equip experienced installers with the latest best practices to grow their businesses and provide consumers with the peace of mind they want.”
According to CTA research, nearly all homes have access to the internet and 29 million smart home devices are projected to sell this year, a 63 percent increase from last year – creating a demand for professionals capable of installing different devices from different manufacturers that work together seamlessly.
The Connected Home Security Checklist Tool was developed by CTA’s Tech Home Division Board. The tool is available only to CTA members. Interested parties should contact Gregory Morrison at gmorrison@CTA.tech.