By Megan Bozman

Dale Drew, chief security officer at Level 3 Communications in Broomfield, recently gave the Denver Posts’ Tamara Chuang a tour of his Internet of Things home. His home features numerous Nest connected thermostats, a connected egg tray, lightbulbs, and rain sensors which can turn off the sprinklers.

I was excessively curious to know: does he have a connected egg tray because he actually feels a need for such solution? Or does he merely have it because, because as a technology professional, he wants to test the latest IoT offerings? If the latter, since he is in possession of it, does he actually use it and find value in it?

I dearly hoped Ms. Chuang would ask.

She did not, although she replied to my email and encouraged me to ask Mr. Drew directly via Twitter. [His Twitter handle is @PacketCop, which is fantastic for a cybersecurity pro.] He kindly replied, “The egg tray is just a toy that is quirky and helps demonstrate that anything can be IoT enabled. I love it!”

Dale Drew, CSO at Level 3 Communications, gives the Denver Posts’ Tamara Chuang a tour of his smart home

Securing your IoT Things

Whether mere toys or highly effective tools, objects connected to the Internet of Things must be secured. Mr. Drew offers the following suggestions to ensure security:

  1. Choose a complex password and use a different password for each device.

Further password advice includes “substitute 3’s for E’s.” This, in addition to substituting exclamation points for i, and zero for o is so common, I have to question the value. The point of complex passwords is so hackers can’t guess them, but those are easy guesses. In any case, complexity is a vital attribute of a strong password.

  1. Get an internet connected device that is hub certified.

Being hub-certified requires more security rigor than other devices.

Check out the video tour of Mr. Drew’s smart home.

IoT in its Infancy

According to David Gewirtz writing for ZDNet, “It’s important to understand that the quantity of “things” in the Internet of Things world will eclipse all other product volumes in the digital technology industry, including smartphones.”

“When evaluating the impact of IoT, be sure to factor in the unknown of possibility. The practice of Internet-enabling physical objects is only in its infancy.”

Smart Home Cam Startup Smartfrog Hops to €20M Funding

I couldn’t resist the “punny” headline.

Dublin and Berlin-based Internet of Things (IoT) startup Smartfrog recently raised an additional €20 million in funding. “The Smartfrog cam and app/cloud service competes with similar devices from Nest et. al. and lets consumers add home surveillance to their smart home setup or perhaps as a first toe into the smart home or consumer IoT waters.”

“Smartfrog has built the full IoT/smart home software, hardware and cloud stack that should enable it to enter new verticals, such as elderly care and health, and via other types of smart sensors.”

IoT startup and smart cam-maker Smartfrog

Echoing the sentiments of Mr. Gerwirtz, Smartfrog co-founder Andreas Rudyk, explained that, “regardless of all of the IoT and smart home hype in recent years, startups like Smartfrog are still very much at the ‘building a market’ stage.”

So many fascinating developments are on the market already. If this is merely the infancy state of IoT, I look forward to writing about more advancements in the years to come.

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