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Smart Home

Trends: Securing the Smart Home

The challenges to securing the smart home create ample business opportunities across the value chain for security solutions.

Security solutions at the level of hardware, network, or cloud platforms are vitally important to the success of IoT providers throughout the ecosystem. Data security or privacy issues concern 79% of consumers and this concern is one of the top three purchase inhibitors of smart home devices.

Key trends include:

  • Interest in device identification and forensics is growing rapidly.

Consumers show increased interest in the ability for any device on their network to be identified and fingerprinted. The majority of service providers plan to offer solutions in this category and can charge for premium services

  • Security gateway products are hard to design and sustain due to the ever-increasing challenges in compatibility with the extensive variety of brands/models of home gateways/routers.

Most makers of first-generation security gateways only introduced these products as a proof-of-concept for their networking solutions and see far more market potential in serving carriers with B2B or B2B2C solutions where they only need to interwork with selected home gateway/router models.

  • Cloud-based solutions continue to grow, thanks to their agility to update and deploy new capabilities.

Endpoint solutions are increasingly moving to the cloud or being enhanced by cloud intelligence. Cloud solutions are particularly attractive for providers, as they ensure necessary updates are received by endpoints in an efficient and timely manner to deter new and future threats. Often new software solutions can be pushed to users without requiring hardware upgrades.

  • Development teams with enterprise security backgrounds are driving the evolution of consumer cybersecurity.

Knowledge of artificial intelligence and real-time behavioral analysis, understanding of hybrid edge-cloud processing architectures, and the value of network visibility and automated risk mitigation are being applied to consumer cybersecurity solutions.

Consumer security tools are similar, but needs low cost hardware and have no IT department supervision.

  • AI and machine learning capabilities represent the leading edge of consumer security technology. The technology is able to learn normal behaviors allowing the detection of unknown and future abnormalities without burdening the end users.

Capabilities of providers vary, most notably where legacy security providers may have experience applying AI to some forms of malware detection and browsing security, but have little experience in applying AI to IoT devices. The most advanced applications of AI to consumer security include:

  1. Assignment of devices to user profiles for increased personalization
  2. Advanced device detection via behavioral analysis
  3. Behavioral analysis of net traffic for both reactive and proactive defense against malware, phishing, botnets and untrustworthy websites
  4. Advanced digital parenting tools that provide improved app usage information, textual analysis to detect cyberbullying, and content filtering

As data security needs for the connected home increase, opportunities exist across the ecosystem to cultivate partnerships with device and system manufacturers, broadband operators, and security solution providers. Data security and privacy protections will be a necessary feature of connected devices and services in the home as the market moves to mass adoption.

This is an excerpt from Parks Associates research library. For more information on our work, connect with me or visit

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