10 Emerging Threats in IoT and Smart Home Device Security

Our homes are getting smarter, but increased connectivity also introduces new risks. Here are 10 rising security threats facing internet-connected IoT and smart home devices 

Internet of Things devices often transmit data unencrypted over home networks. Sensitive info like smart lock codes or live camera streams could be intercepted. Encrypt data flows and isolate IoT devices on separate network segments. 

Data Leaks  

Insecure IoT devices are routinely hijacked into botnets of thousands of devices used to launch massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Automatically update firmware and change default passwords to prevent IoT botnet takeovers.


As with computers, malware can target smart appliances, encrypting data and demanding ransom for decryption keys. Use strong passwords, promptly patch vulnerabilities, and back up data to recover from IoT ransomware.


Flaws in smart home hubs or devices could let attackers remotely control systems like HVAC, sprinklers, and door locks to cause disruption. Promptly patch vulnerabilities.

Hijacked Controls  

Emerging techniques like adversarial machine learning can manipulate the data that smart home AI systems use for facial recognition, voice commands, and behavioral analysis. Continuously retrain AI with diverse and verified data samples.

AI Manipulation  

API vulnerabilities provide backdoor access to remotely monitor and control IoT devices and apps. Rigorously test IoT/smart home APIs and implement multi-factor authentication.

Insecure APIs  

Hackers can gain control of consumer IoT devices like security cameras, DVRs and routers to route massive distributed denial of service attacks. Implement traffic rate limiting safeguards.

DDoS Targets  

Always-listening voice assistants and wirelessly transmitting sensors enable surveillance of home activities and conversations if controls are compromised. Allow voice processing locally on the device when possible.


Readily available ransomware toolkits allow less sophisticated hackers to target IoT networks and devices.


Backdoored components introduced during manufacturing can introduce vulnerabilities. Vet IoT vendors and buy reputable brands.

Supply Chain Attacks  

With proactive precautions like network microsegmentation, strong authentication and encryption, and prompt patching, homeowners can confidently operate IoT devices while reducing risk.