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Smart Home Systems Security Risks Assignment Paper (Research Proposal Sample)


The task was to write a research proposal on the risks associated with smart home systems security. The sample analyses the risks in the format of a research paper


Smart Home Systems Security Risks
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Smart home systems security risks
Home automation system allows homeowners access and control devices in their homes from any location in the globe by using a mobile device. In home automation, almost everything including appliances, cooling system, lights, and heating system are linked to a controllable network that can be operated from a remote area. When it comes to home security, the home automation system includes the house locks, every window and door, surveillance cameras and smoke detectors among others. Home automation is generally a move towards the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) where each item get assigned an IP address which enables it to be supervised and accessed from a remote distance ( Farhan & Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 2009). Home automation allows homeowners to manage their smart home both from within and from a far distance.
In the move to achieve energy efficient and smart homes, among the greatest barriers which have been identified is the achievement of security in IoT environments. An investigation needs to be done to make it straight on how to the risks associated with use and misuse of both end-users and customers information can be handled and how the integration of security improvement measures in the design can be done. In this research, I am going to analyze the risks associated with home systems security and methodologies for mitigating the risks. Some of the probable dangers related to home automation include systems threats and chances of occurrence and potential impacts. The risk analysis will be done basing on a qualitative approach called the Information Security Risk Analysis (ISRA) where the risks of the system are exposed and reviewed basing on availability, integrity and the confidentiality of the system
Background and related research
A recently conducted research indicated that two among eight people living in Sweden have the feeling that they are not well informed with the knowledge and control of how they use energy (Flick & Morehouse, 2011). The research further indicated that among ten people, four of them are willing to increase their awareness and gain better control on their rate of consumption. The appropriate solution was identified as the provision of feedback on energy consumption to every householder through the smart home automation system. Research indicates that householder can reduce up to 20% of their energy consumption through such feedback (Farhan & Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 2009). In home automation, a network of communication extends the IoT by including daily item and sensors. Home automation is becoming an attraction to many suppliers, providers of infrastructure, and both software and hardware third party vendors. Due to the increasing number of home automation users, the challenge of complexity and heterogeneity of the largely integrated devices and services has become rampant; this has necessitated the development of appliances which are connected to software to counter these challenges.
A joint research conducted on some of the leading industrial actors dealing with home automation which is a popular interface in the automation system of smart homes, it was found that it is possible to control the smart devices in a transparent manner real time. Municipalities, property owners and other stakeholders in the third party category can also observe the consumption rate of energy and remotely regulate electronic equipment found in the building (Meyer, 2008). The background of this study is prompted by the fact that in an ecosystem that is largely integrated, understanding the dangers associated with the use of information on end users such as tenants, customers and partners are not clear.
Related work
Due to the increased computerization of homes and the increase in the use of smart televisions, and management of energy systems in buildings there has been an increase in the computer security threats the impacts they have on home residents ought to be assessed. Research shows that the competences of the home-based technology make it easy for novel attacks and also allow traditional attacks to have new results. The risks posed by cloud computing in the management of home recourse extends to the sharing of data, external household services and the home; this is through core indicators which have a relation to risks, cost, efficiency, and trust (Meyer, 2008). Smart home environments which are occupied by human users have a high risk of potential sensitivity data regarding traffic.
The main source of risk in the home automation system was is the risk connected with software components mostly the mobile devices and the smartphone applications. Other risks connected with software components include the connected devices, API, Cloud server and In-house gateway. The software weaknesses show the risk of attacks which take advantage of the vulnerabilities. Some common examples of the software vulnerability in the home automation include; the irregular deployment of the authentication procedure which leads to the risk of unauthorized access to the security system. The second example is inadequate access to control policy and configuration; this leads to the risk of unauthorized functions modification. Insufficient accountability and logging settings can cause the system events to remain unregistered thus leading to huge problems in handling bug fixing. The risk of insufficient settings on confidentiality and authentication within different connected sensors relates to problems with critical information which can be spread between the in-house gateway and devices. The insufficient settings risk includes commands having the instructions either to turn on or off electronic devices like the surveillance cameras and alarms (Flick & Morehouse, 2011). The risks that are connected to hardware commonly involves theft, the sabotage of SHAS devices and servers and manipulation
Security wise, human actors stand for a link which is weak in all computer-based systems of information. Research indicates that human form a limitation that is difficult to handle in analyzing the computerization systems. This challenge posed by humans is also a confirmed case when it comes to SHAS. The most common human risk is the deployment of passwords which are not strong enough; such risks can be mitigated by the use of verification tools and policies on enforcement passwords. When user accounts are configured of all defaults, they become a weak point for attempts by hackers. Since a major characteristic of automation in the smart home is the regulatory controls system appliances which in most cases cannot be managed by the use of ordinary computers but through the use of tablets and phones, from the security point of view, this has the implication that various new areas of contact between the potential attackers and the system have been created. An example of an effective attack is the attack on an end user when he/she keys in a web page that is security flawed and includes malicious software that can easily exploit the vulnerability in the computer or tablet of the end user (Elsenpeter & Velte, 2003). Thus, the attacker can complete software on the system which has been compromised using the malicious software which allows the attacker to secretly manage and control the SHAS.
Research has indicated that the main part of the SHAS is the user’s privacy, this happens where the system’s architecture verification happens in one way, thus necessitating the accountability in taking the entire home environment in the examination. The SHAS is dynamic and poses unpredictable effects in the IoT development system. This increases the stake of users regarding privacy implications mostly because of the stiff competition in the SHAS providers for business advantages, for instance, through getting more information about the rate of energy consumption of customers (Elsenpeter & Velte, 2003). Consequently, some customers may end up giving private information about the activities in their home-based environment. This sensitive information can be misused by actors who have selfish intentions.
Aims and objectives
The aims and objectives of this research are:
I. To identify the risks associated with smart home systems
II. To investigate how the risks in the smart home systems security can be mitigated
III. To identify why Home Automation Systems are such attractive targets for attackers
The research will employ different methodologies to gather the necessary information for analysis. Some of the chosen methodologies include the use of interviews to get qualitative information about the homeowners, end users and other stakeholder’s experience and feelings about the SHAS. The preferred type of interviewing method to use is the one which takes the semi-structured format; this will enable the researcher to formulate a guide to the key areas which needs coverage in the interviewing process, this format will also allow the interviewer to write down the questions to ask (Fujimori, 2008). . The types of questions to be used in the interview will be open ended to gain detailed information.
The second method will be the use questionnaires which will allow the researcher to collect comparable and standardized information from the people using home automation systems. Questionnaires will enable the researcher to get both qualitative and quantitative data; also, parameters like the awareness level on the issue of risks associated with smart home systems can be estimated. Open-ended questions will be used since they will allow the respondent to give detailed information including his/her attitudes and feelings about the SHAS; thus, the researcher will ge...
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