Smart appliances on your home office network could be a cybersecurity risk – North Bay Business Journal

September 16, 2022 by No Comments

Everywhere in many homes, devices like appliances and entertainment “talk to the cloud.” Sure, they are convenient, but experts warn, also problematic, particularly regarding personal privacy, security, or safety.

Exploration is now underway how to protect home systems from hackers, including how artificial intelligence can help

And its not just appliances. The problem is multiplied because almost a third of former office staffs are working from home. Cyberattack frequency in the home has increased 238% since the beginning of the pandemic, based on a study by Alliance Virtual Offices.

In a study conducted by Tenable, a cyber exposure management company, 74% of organizations surveyed attribute the recent business impact of cyberattacks to the vulnerability of remote work.

Until recently, the trend over the past 20 years has been to go beyond large centralized corporate IT systems toward medium and small business networks, according to Robert Boles, president of Blokworx, a local managed services provider (MSP) with offices in Larkspur and throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

“In the past, serving the home cybersecurity market was not deemed profitable, so IT firms opted to serve the small-to-medium business (SMB) and above categories,” Boles said.

“Today, the need to have outside support to manage network security has trickled-down to the residential level where most people are consumers, not electronics savvy, and without an IT department at their disposal and don’t have the tools and know-how to effectively cope with such problems on their own,” Boles said.

So how does the average remote working employee accomplish this if the in-home network is compromised?

“If something is vulnerable, it will be expected, but everything is vulnerable in some way. It boils down to what the market will bear. The concern has been as to whether residential IT and IoT users are willing to pay $40 to $50 a month or more for an MSP?”

So how do we protect business users and those working at home?

Boles said his firm worked with Allen, Texas-based Cytracom and CEO Zane Conkel in 2021 on a software-defined wide area network secure-access, secure-edge product (SD-WAN-SASA) that allows enterprises to leverage a combination of transport services to securely connect users to applications.

Cytracom’s product, called ControlOne, puts a software “agent” on a laptop configured to manage the device based on permissions that must be used before anyone would have access to trusted links. If the laptop is left in the office, the system senses that, but if in a home, it would create a secure data ”tunnel“ to connect to the office server.

ControlOne is designed to know the IP addresses at the office and the public network, as well as the network it is on, and The system has a “phone-home component” to see if it is on a friendly network. It can authenticate itself to the domain, knows the profile of the machine with a fingerprint to authenticate it for encryption.

Cytracom partners with Deep Instinct, a New York firm that takes a “prevention-first” approach to stopping ransomware and other malware.

“They developed the first deep learning AI neural network that uses machine learning to see if it can make identity decisions on its own as well as make decisions the way humans do,” Boles said of Deep Instinct. “With progress being made on many fronts, the benefits of AI could soon spread to all touchpoints in the IT cyber universe.”

AI for home network security

Napa-based David …….



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