Smart devices can’t protect themselves. Hackers gain access in just 20 minutes


Your home no longer represents a place where you can feel safe. According to Ensy, this change of affairs has come about with the massive influx into households of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices, which are connected to the internet and which communicate with one another, have become a target for online attacks. As Paganini have warned, although users are acquiring IoT products to make their homes safer and more comfortable, in fact they’re opening their doors to hackers. How to stop the hackers? The solution might come from innovative startups.

Statistics in IoT security

The extent to which IoT domestic appliances are secure has been examined by the company Synack. In its 2015 study it announced that of the 16 IoT products tested almost all of them were easily hacked in under 20 minutes. The majority of the devices shared common weaknesses, e.g. simple passwords or insufficient coding. What sort of information can hackers retrieve from smart homes? The really sensitive stuff, according to Veracode. Garage door sensors can tell you when they are open and give you a window of access to penetrate the home. With technology such as Wink Relay, often used as the main control system for household IoT devices, once this has been hacked it can be used to listen in on conversations or steal important data from a home office.

Business opportunities

As the threat from IoT looms ever larger, an opportunity is opened up for all those companies offering solutions to combat inadequate security. As Gartner argues, the typical household in a developed country will contain several hundred smart devices by the year 2020. We can expect that as their quantity increases, so will the demand for more foolproof security. Capgemini Consulting point out that the IoT boom will be an enormous opportunity for all innovative enterprises to come up with new services and products. Those companies who one day achieve success, will first have grasp the central role of security in the IoT.

Startups taking on this field

One of the startups contributing to smart home security is the Israeli firm Dojo Labs. Its product, Dojo, whose size and shape makes it resemble a black pebble, warns users through a mobile app if it picks up any suspicious activity trying to sniff out information from an IoT device. Similar services are offered by the American company Cujo, which uses technology remarkable for its ease of operation. Just plug it into a free slot on your router and it installs itself. A somewhat different solution comes from North American startup Luma, who are offering households a special Wi-Fi router. This provides security for IoT devices by detecting suspicious activity and viruses.

Video: Angee Home Security

Secure Home/Family is one of the topics at this year’s JIC STARCUBE, the longest running Czech accelerator. Startups can hand in their applications up until 7 August 2016. Since 2010, 72 start ups have entered JIC STARCUBE. Teams work their way through three months crammed with knowledge and workshops, meeting up with mentors and forging links with global technology companies. They get a helping hand and financial support to test and prototype, to access legal and tax services, for marketing, as well as contributions to cover their travel and accommodation costs. Examples of successful companies who have gone through the accelerator include GINA, Reservio and one of today’s fastest growing startups (formerly Skypicker). Learn more about the accelerator by going to