How smart homes are changing our lives
By Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky
Smart home technologies have long ceased to be something new or surprising. Today, the idea of smart home appliances or switches isn’t from a cyberpunk scene, but rather an actively emerging reality.
For example, the report from Berg Insight revealed that the number of smart homes in Europe and North America reached 102.6 million in 2020.
What was once a collection of single and separate devices, smart homes are turning into fully-fledged smart systems that can supply coffee on time, adjust the temperature, and monitor the security of your house while you are away. All of this is possible thanks to the digitalization of an increasing number of devices. Kaspersky has developed a list of the most interesting benefits which the modern smart home can provide to become a fully-fledged personal assistant or protector.
Smart home technology can take the safety of your home to the next level. And we aren’t just talking about alarms. Modern cameras, motion sensors, and even smart door locks will help turn your home into a real fortress, and immediately send a message to your smartphone if something happens.
One of the most obvious examples is the installation of a home video surveillance system connected to the internet. Such cameras will work 24/7 and allow owners to look at what is happening anywhere in the house through an app on a smartphone. Sometimes such cameras have a motion sensor – if a camera sees something moving (be it a cat, a dog, or an intruder) it records the file and sends it to the server. Your device then receives a notification so that you can react as quickly as possible and perhaps prevent your property from being broken into.
The smart home has also made it possible to reinvent door locks. In order to secure your home as much as possible, the easiest option is to stop intruders from being able to get through the door. However, modern locks have moved on from being just a mechanism. Today, they can do much more than just prevent intruders from getting inside. For example, they can send you a notification when someone walks in and out, or create access codes for you or those who work in your home (nanny, housekeeper, gardener, etc.).
All of these solutions can turn your house into a high-tech home, but even smart defenses need protection. To ensure your defender has a shield, solutions have been created that help protects not only individual devices from being hacked but the entire IoT ecosystem.
Peace of mind
There are always numerous small things to worry about around the house – have I turned off the iron or closed the door? Who will water the flowers while I am on vacation? Even a small doubt is enough to ruin an evening out with friends or a short vacation with a loved one.
Smart devices can provide much-needed reassurance in such situations. Smart water leak detectors, for example, which react to contact with water, can help you to stay calm and relaxed. Sensors can be installed next to batteries, pipes in the bathroom and in the kitchen. The devices are not only able to monitor the water level, but also determine the level of humidity in the room: if you are suddenly flooded from above, you will know immediately even if you are not at home.
The same situation is true with smart smoke detectors, which can warn of danger before it is too late. If wiring suddenly lights up in the house or an open fire remains burning, the sensor will immediately react.
Another important assistant – a smart socket – will also warn you if you forgot to turn off the iron whilst in a rush. Seeing the notification on your smartphone, you can remotely disconnect the device from the power no matter where you are.
The time has finally come when you can allow yourself to truly relax and leave some of your household duties in the hands of technology. By automating some types of furniture, we can take comfort and health care to a new level.
For example, Eight Sleep has developed a bed equipped with sensors capable of monitoring the user’s sleep quality based on 15 parameters, including the duration of REM and deep sleep phases, and heart rate patterns. This allows you to choose the optimal time for going to bed and waking up.
A smart bed will gently wake up the owner, catching the moment when the body is ready to rise, and create a pleasant morning environment, for example, turn on calm music or a light vibration, turn on the light or start the coffee machine via voice command.
Besides sleep comfort, a smart home can also make cooking much easier, enjoyable and fun. For example, the EYWA Kitchen Smart Screen is a small panel, no larger than a standard wall cabinet door. It easily fits into any kitchen, making it an indispensable helper. It can:
⦁ Find recipes for dishes online;
⦁ Make a list of required ingredients;
⦁ Independently purchase them online;
⦁ Order delivery at a specified time;
⦁ Turn on household appliances and set timers;
⦁ Distract children with a cartoon;
In order to safely use such smart solutions which are integrated into your daily activities (including cooking, shopping, choosing content), you need to ensure the safety of the devices themselves. Otherwise, attackers could get into your home network and gain access to personal data through convenient smart boards or switches.
The first and simplest step may be to change the default device password to a more complex one – but resist the temptation to copy the password from other accounts. If you have lots of devices and are finding it difficult to remember all the passwords, you can use a special solution to protect the ecosystem of the smart home. This will not only keep passwords safe, but also warn you if the password has already been compromised.
In addition to caring for the safety and comfort of home owners, the IoT market seeks to make life easier and better for pets. According to research, the size of the PetTech market in the United States has reached $5.5 billion – this includes connected collars, smart doors, feeders, fences, toys etc.
Some of the most popular smart pet devices are for drinks and feeders. They help to not only control nutrition and prevent overeating, but also allow you to leave pets for a while at home alone, without worrying that your cat is hungry or has knocked over a bowl of water. Of course, in some extreme situations cats can also turn on survival mode – for example, a cat was recently discovered eating cardboard and drinking from a leaking tap for 52 days. However, no owner would like to repeat this scenario for their pet.
If everything is covered with feeding and drinking, what else can manufacturers of smart devices develop to support pet care? How about chatting with your dog?
Start-up FluentPet, has come up with a device for human-dog communication. The device is a panel with buttons labeled with different symbols. With its help, the company seeks to test the hypothesis that animals can express their emotions and desires by clicking on pictures.
Another example is smart animal houses which are designed to improve comfort for pets. They are equipped with intelligent temperature control and environmental sensors that regulate the temperature inside depending on the number of degrees outside. In addition, the houses can monitor the health of the animal, tracking and recording pet activity and sleep data. All of this information can be read from the app in the smartphone in order to timely monitor the health of your pet.
Besides comfort and safety, smart home technologies help make our lives more environmentally friendly by using resources more smartly – for example, using water and electricity in a more rational way.
For example, sensors can turn lights on and off in a room, depending on whether there are people there or not. Another option is smart heating, which will allow you to maintain certain microclimate parameters in each room. For example, if everyone leaves for school and work in the morning, the system can reduce energy consumption and increase it later in the day when everyone is back.
However, in addition to controlling energy consumption, modern smart homes are also able to produce energy. For this, systems for the production of alternative energy are built in – such as solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal installations.
Depending on the location of the building, in some cases, even the energy of water – currents or tides – can be used. As a result, the smart home control center can not only control energy consumption but also monitor its production, as well as rational distribution.
Modern smart homes built from scratch include energy-saving technologies. Heat leakage and CO2 emissions from such buildings are minimal. Smart walls, roofs, and other building elements can inform the owner about their problems: the appearance of moisture or heat leaks. This allows you to promptly correct the defect that has appeared.
In general, the market for smart devices is actively growing and manufacturers of such systems are striving to digitize more and more elements of the house. This not only improves safety and comfort but also benefits the environment. As a result, smart homes are being transformed from a cluster of single, simple devices into true multi-layered digital ecosystems, which also require an appropriate level of protection.
LG’s Inverter Direct Drive motor reaches milestone with 100M units produced
March 14, 2023 11:32 a.m.
A Key Component of Premium LG Washing Machines for More than Two Decades, Company’s Innovative Motor Technology Continues to Evolve for Excellence
LG Electronics (LG) announces that production of its Inverter Direct Drive™ (DD™) motor has exceeded 100 million units. The company’s differentiated motor technology is a major factor in the strong, reliable performance and continuing global popularity of LG’s industry-leading laundry solutions.
From 1998 to the end of 2022, the company produced, on average, over 12,000 Inverter DD motors per day. LG’s Inverter DD motor connects directly to the washing drum, an innovation that helps make LG washing machines more durable and dramatically reduces noise and energy consumption during operation.
LG has refined the Inverter DD motor over four generations, continuously improving the technology and its performance capabilities to deliver greater customer value. The company holds over 240 Inverter DD motor related technology patents in Korea and internationally. In 2019, the company applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the Inverter DD motor to further enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. Used in LG’s premium washing machines and dryers, the AI DD motor leverages deep learning technology to detect the weight of each load and the types of fabrics being washed. It then selects the optimal combination of drum movements from the company’s proprietary 6 Motion tech – which enables six discrete drum movements – to care and clean for users’ laundry.
Last year, LG brought its advanced Inverter DD motor to its dryers for the first time. Like the company’s washers, LG dryers also offer 6 Motion (Tumble, Swing, Rolling, Stepping, Scrubbing, and Filtration) technology to boost drying performance and minimize fabric damage. LG’s inverter motor technology – specifically, the AI DD – became the first home appliance technology to earn Deep Learning AI Verification from global safety science company, (UL) Underwriters Laboratories.
“The number of Inverter DD motors produced points to the excellence of the motor technology LG has developed for its premium laundry solutions,” said Kim Yang-sun, head of the Component Solution Business Unit at LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. “We will continue to create highly efficient core components that boost the performance and reliability of our products while also reducing carbon emissions during operation.”
Kaspersky study reveals basic cybersecurity terms unfamiliar to C-level executives in SEA
February 20, 2023 3:05 p.m.
Every fourth business executive in Southeast Asia (SEA) prefers not to flag lack of understanding when discussing cybersecurity issues. A recent Kaspersky study also reveals one in ten C-level managers have never heard of threats such as Botnet, APT and Zero-Day exploit.
The same proportion appeared to be unfamiliar with cyber security concepts like DecSecOps, ZeroTrust, SOC and Pentesting.
According to a PwC’s study, while backing cybersecurity in every business decision has already become the norm in every other company, more than half of executives lack confidence that their cyber spending is being allocated to the most significant risks their organization is facing. Kaspersky conducted their own research to help IT and C-level find common ground and explore the root of their misunderstandings, where a total of 300 executives from the SEA region were surveyed.
The Kaspersky poll indicates that C-suite sometimes struggle to understand their IT security peers and are not always ready to show their confusion. Thus, 26% of non-IT executives here say they would not feel comfortable flagging that they don’t understand something during a meeting with IT and IT security.
Although most of them hide their confusion because they prefer to clarify everything after the meeting or choose to figure everything out by themselves, more than half (55%) don’t ask additional questions because they don’t believe the IT peers will be able to explain it in a clear way. Almost two-in-five also feel embarrassed revealing they don’t understand the topic and 42% don’t want to look ignorant in front of their IT colleagues.
Also, even though all surveyed top-managers from SEA regularly discuss security related issues with IT security managers more than one-in-ten respondents have never heard of threats such as Zero-Day exploit (11%), Botnet (9%), and APT (9%). At the same time Spyware, Malware, Trojan and Phishing appeared to be more familiar for top-managers.
More than one-in-ten top managers here admit they have never heard of cybersecurity terms like DecSecOps (10%), SOC (10%), Pentesting (10%), and ZeroTrust (6%).
“Non-IT top management do not have to be experts in complex cybersecurity terminology and concepts and IT security executives should keep this in mind when communicating with the board,” comments Sergey Zhuykov, Solution Architect at Kaspersky.
“To establish efficient cooperation CISO should be able to focus C-level attention precisely on meaningful details and clearly explain what exactly the company is doing to minimize cybersecurity risks. In addition to communicating clear metrics to stakeholders, this approach requires offering solutions instead of problems,” says Zhuykov.
“On the other end of the communications spectrum, only 6% of IT security professionals in SEA admit facing difficulty in discussing aspects of their work to the C-level. This means the majority of our technical workforce deem that their updates are understood by the decision makers. To bridge this dangerous gap, security teams should also incorporate effective tools – real life examples and use of reports and numbers – to ensure that discussions are done effectively,” adds Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.
To ease the communication between IT security and business functions within the company, Kaspersky recommends the following:
- IT security should be positioned as a driver for growth and innovation in the organization. To achieve this the IT security team should move away from prohibitive tactics and rather explain how the business can achieve its goals while mitigating cybersecurity risks.
- CISO should actively engage in operational activities and build relationships with the company’s stakeholders. While fewer than 20% of CISOs have established partnerships with key executives in sales, finance, and marketing, it is hard for them to stay abreast of the needs of the business.
- When communicating with the board, use arguments based on an overview of threats by experts, your company’s attack status and best practices.
- Explain to the board what the main responsibilities of the IT security team are. If possible, provide them with an opportunity to walk in a CISO’s shoes to get insights on the most relevant IT security challenges.
- Allocate cybersecurity investments in tools with proven efficacy and ROI. This means tools that lower the level of false positives, and reduce times of attack detection, the time spent per case and other metrics are important to any IT security team.
Kaspersky in Southeast Asia also has launched a Buy 1 Free 1 promo to help SMBs and midrange enterprises in beefing their cybersecurity capabilities. Businesses can now enjoy two years of enterprise-grade endpoint protection for the price of 1 with Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business or Cloud or Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum, with 24×7 phone support. Interested customers can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full report and more insights on communications issues between C-level and IT security managers are available via the link.
Kaspersky Threat Intelligence enhances its threat data feeds, threat analysis, brand protection capabilities
February 4, 2023 9:41 a.m.
The latest release of Kaspersky Threat Intelligence service includes a range of improved feeds that contribute to a deeper understanding of cyberattackers’ behavior, tactics, techniques and procedures regardless of region or language.
It also contains new integrated elements allowing for the protection of companies’ brands on social networks and in marketplaces.
Cybercriminals can remain undetected in companies’ networks, obtaining sensitive information resulting in financial loss, reputational damage, and long-lasting system failures. According to statistics provided by Kaspersky Global Emergency Response Team, the average duration of a prolonged attack is 94.5 days before it is detected by an InfoSec specialist.
To protect businesses from hidden threats like these, companies should provide their security teams with reliable solutions that help them stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and eliminate cyber risks before they can do any harm.
To implement this goal, Kaspersky updated its Threat Intelligence with new Threat Hunting and Incident Investigation capabilities. Providing information in human- and machine-readable formats, the solution supports security teams with meaningful context throughout the incident management cycle, boosts incident investigations and informs strategic decision-making.
Advanced Threat Data Feeds for better protection
The latest release of Kaspersky Threat Intelligence contains new feeds on crimeware, cloud services and threats to open-source software. These feeds will help customers to detect or prevent confidential data leakage and mitigate risks of supply chain attacks and vulnerable or politically compromised software components.
It also introduces Industrial Vulnerability data feed in OVAL format. It allows customers to find vulnerable ICS software easily on Windows hosts in their networks by using popular vulnerability scanners.
The existing feeds are enriched with additional valuable and actionable information such as new threat categories, attack tactics and techniques in MITRE ATT&CK classification, which will help customers identify their adversary, investigate and respond to the threats faster and more efficiently.
Integration with Security information and event management (SIEM) solutions via Kaspersky CyberTrace is also enhanced with the automated parsing of indicators of compromise (IoCs) directly from emails and PDFs.
Moreover, CyberTrace now supports flexible export format of IoCs, allowing seamless integration of filtered Threat Data Feeds into third-party security controls.
Better visibility for in-depth investigation
Kaspersky Threat Intelligence extended its coverage to IP addresses and added new categories such as DDoS, Intrusion, Brute-force and Net scanners, as customers previously made many searches related to these types of threats.
The updated solution also supports filters that can help users specify criteria sources, sections and periods for automated schedule searches.
The Research Graph, a graphic visualization tool, was also updated to support two new nodes: actors and reports.
Users can apply them to find additional connections with IoCs. This option accelerates threat response and threat hunting activities by highlighting IoCs from high profile attacks described in APT, crimeware and industrial reports as well as in Actor profiles.
Reliable brand protection on social networks and marketplaces
Reliable brand protection on social networks and marketplaces
The brand protection capability of Threat Intelligence was improved by adding new notifications to the Digital Footprint Intelligence service. Now it supports real time alerts for Targeted Phishing, faked Social Networks accounts or applications in Mobile Marketplace.
It helps to track the appearance of the phishing website targeting their brand company name, online services or trademarks and provide relevant, accurate and detailed information about phishing activities. The updated solution also monitors and detects malicious mobile applications impersonating the customer’s brand and fake organization profiles on social networks.
Improved threat analysis tools
The updated Kaspersky Cloud Research Sandbox now supports Android OS and MITRE ATT&CK mapping, related metrics will be displayed on a dashboard of the Cloud Sandbox. It also provides all network activities across all protocols, including IP, UDP, TCP, DNS, HTTP(S), SSL, FTP, POP3, IRC. The user can now specify command lines and file parameters to launch the emulation in a tailored way.
“We have been focusing on threat research at Kaspersky for over two decades. With petabytes of rich threat data, advanced machine learning technologies and a unique pool of global experts we work to support customers with the latest threat intelligence from all over the world, helping them to defend themselves even from previously unseen cyberattacks,” comments Anatoly Simonenko, Head of Technology Solutions Product Management at Kaspersky.
Learn more about Kaspersky Threat Intelligence.