TÜV Rheinland: Around 500 networked devices in every private household in five years


The smart home is a reality, but not yet standard. Leading international experts at TÜV Rheinland expect this to change very quickly: They estimate that in five years' time there will be around 500 devices, products, applications and components in every private household that are Internet-enabled or already connected to the Internet. This is a forecast from TÜV Rheinland's Cybersecurity Trends 2018, published by the globally active testing service provider for quality and safety. The problem: Many of these "smart" products and applications are not sufficiently tested for data security and cybersecurity.

Networked devices collect and exchange data

Smart networked devices include online control systems for roller shutters, lighting or heating as well as televisions, refrigerators or lawnmowers, mobile phones, tablet PCs or baby monitors. "Networked devices need to collect and exchange data in order to function. Otherwise these are not smart. At the same time, they must be well protected against data security and cyber-burglaries", says Dr. Daniel Hamburg, head of the Global Center of Excellence Testing and Certification at TÜV Rheinland, the leading expert for product testing and cybersecurity. Among other things, it demands that standards for testing device security be extended to include tests for data security and cybersecurity. "Otherwise, the Smart Home will open the door to a new kind of burglar."

Cyber criminals: New generation of burglars

In fact, there are already incidents in which it is possible to penetrate systems and products connected to the Internet with comparatively simple means. This is done, for example, via malware or WLAN. In a recent test, for example, experts from TÜV Rheinland hacked an inverter in a solar power system. This would have made it possible to affect connected storage systems or even the power grid itself. Alarm systems or surveillance systems have also been hacked and levered out by burglars.

Ensure compliance with data protection regulations

To ensure that consumers can be more confident that products and systems meet current data protection and online security requirements at the time of purchase, experts demand independent testing according to uniform standards. Dr. Daniel Hamburg: "An example from Germany: The GS mark for tested product safety has existed in Germany for 40 years. We now need a similar tests for smart products in order to make tested data security and cybersecurity visible to consumers at a glance. This creates an opportunity for comparison in the market and ensures trust in the manufacturers."

TÜV Rheinland has been developing such tests since 2017: The experts check the data protection and data security of products and applications that are connected to these products. Because an Internet-enabled device is almost always connected to a service, for example mobile and flexible control via a smartphone. When purchasing new smart devices, consumers should always inform themselves about compliance with data protection regulations and not just pay attention to the price.

Cybersecurity Trends presented for the fourth time

TÜV Rheinland's Cybersecurity Trends were published for the fourth time in 2018. They were researched and compiled over several months within an international team. The report is based on a survey of leading cybersecurity experts from TÜV Rheinland and the experiences of companies in Europe, North America and Asia. To this end, the experts also surveyed companies and organizations in various industries and analyzed security incidents worldwide in the past year.

The Cybersecurity Trends 2018 provide information on eight major developments in data security, IT security, data protection and cybercrime. These include the effects of the new data protection regulations within the European Union - keyword: basic data protection regulation -, the trend towards biometric recognition systems in everyday life and the development of artificial intelligence around cybersecurity.

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