The smart home office

Authored by a Symantec employee


Smart employers understand the desire for work/life balance in today’s increasingly connected world. At the same time, smart employees must understand that the flexible workspace is as important as any workspace to achieve peak productivity. What is often overlooked is the security of the home office. When working from home, not only are you responsible for your own cybersecurity, but that of your company’s as well.

What is a smart home office?

A smart home office uses electronics and devices that connect to the internet. Home printers, notepads, smart lighting: it’s all connected. And when it’s connected, it’s vulnerable. When creating the ideal home office, efficiency and comfort are usually top of mind. Invest in equipment that will not only carry out your day-to-day tasks proficiently but also won’t need regular maintenance. However, a lot of consumers don’t realize the security risks these devices can carry. You can learn how to shop for connected devices with security in mind by checking out our IoT buyer’s guide.

When working from a smart home, one of the key security concerns is ensuring that all the devices in use are protected from vulnerabilities, hackers and cyberattacks.

Advantages of a smart home office

Technological advancements have created home office equipment like printers, scanners, and desk lamps that ‘talk’ to each other, making it easy for you to carry out your tasks. Mundane tasks such as locking doors, adjusting the room temperature and checking who is at the door are all carried out through an app. What a lot of people don’t realize is that while these ‘things” are on your network, they usually require an internet connection to communicate with each other.

Smart home offices have proved time and again to be good for employee productivity. They save the company time and space, and help business owners manage their operational costs and save energy as well.

Then there’s the potential reduction or elimination of commute traffic woes, which makes the smart home office an even more compelling alternative to the conventional office space.

Security of a smart home office

Although design and technology have helped to create the ultimate home office, it is very important for people to keep in mind that there are huge differences between a work office and a home office. There are a lot of details that corporate office settings offer that can get overlooked in the home office setting. For example, when you provide your guests access to your home Wi-Fi, it’s the same Wi-Fi you use to conduct business.

Usually, in the business setting, there is a “guest” network option for internet access. Businesses offer this “guest” network option because guest devices may lack proper security, and malware and viruses can come from an unprotected guest device. In an unprotected home Wi-Fi network, these same unprotected devices can potentially infect your own IoT devices. This can put not only your own personal information at risk, but also your business and other online activities.

The increasing popularity of IoT devices has sometimes resulted in products that are not necessarily created with security in mind. Hackers are aware of this and look at it as a business opportunity. The recent Mirai malware attack is a classic example: using default passwords and usernames, the malware accessed IoT devices like DVRs and security cameras, and turned the affected devices into a botnet in order to facilitate a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This attack ended up flooding one of the largest website hosting companies in the world, plunging many large websites into darkness for several hours.

Keep it simple

Your home Wi-Fi is not just for you. It’s shared with your family, friends, and housemates. When getting official work done over your personal network, there are few precautions you should take to make sure your router is secure.

1. Go to the router manufacturer’s website and review their privacy policy. Read their terms of use and learn about the data they collect from you, and how they safeguard it.
2. Change your router’s default password. Default passwords are just a Google search away for hackers. Choose a password that’s difficult to guess and unique to you so that it’s easy to remember.
3. Use WPA2 and AES encryption for your router as these provide the highest level of protection for your wireless network.
4. Choose a router that can provide separate guest access.
5. Your router should have the capability to conveniently regulate the access of certain IoT devices such as video game systems or online streaming services.

As devices continue to connect us, we are integrating smart devices with human intelligence. Together this interaction can bring your daily and digital life into the future. Remember, this can only be done in a safe and secure setting.

One way that can be accomplished is with the Norton Core™ Wi-Fi router. Norton Core is the first and only high-performance, secure router with Norton protection bundled into it.

Built with a futurist’s vision of the Internet of Things and a clear understanding of the security issues that can arise as a result, the technology and design behind Norton Core focuses primarily on the protection of the connected home. From data encryption to secure DNS, to automatic security updates, Norton Core secures connected homes with state-of-the-art security.

689 million people across 21 countries were the victims of cybercrime last year. Is your smart home leaving the door open?

Enter Norton Core - a new approach to home security. It revolutionizes online security by helping to protect your entire home network, not just specific devices.

Help protect your Wi-Fi network and the personal devices connected to that network, including all of your IoT devices.

Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.

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