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HSB Cyber Survey Shows Smart Home Devices Add Hacking Risks
81 Percent of U.S. Consumers Live in Connected Homes
HSB's recent survey of consumers shows families and individuals are rapidly adding smart devices to connected home networks. It's convenient to stream videos or control home systems through the Internet, but these smart devices are also increasing the risk of home cyber attacks.
New pathways for cyber attacks
"Cyber criminals are always looking for new targets," said Timothy Zeilman, vice president and counsel for HSB. "And home devices like smart TVs and appliances are often designed for easy use and not security. Compounding the problem, many consumers don't take even basic measures such as changing default passwords and updating security software."
Smart home devices are multiplying
The cyber survey was conducted for HSB by Zogby Analytics and showed that 81 percent of consumers have a WiFi or other home data network, and 38 percent have electronic devices other than personal computers, smartphones or tablets connected to the Internet.
New technology, new risks
These new smart devices include entertainment systems, gaming consoles, smart TVs, thermostats, security cameras, door locks, alarms, lighting and home automation. The surge in popularity for smart home hubs and speakers, which respond to voice commands, adds to the risk.
Home cyber attacks can be costly
Although cyber attacks on non-computing home systems and smart appliances are so far relatively uncommon (10 percent of those responding were victims), 87 percent of the victims spent money to respond - and 42 percent spent between $1,000 and $5,000, the survey found.
Malware targets home systems
The most common type of non-physical damage experienced through attacks on home devices, appliances and systems were viruses or other unwanted software on their systems (59 percent) and damage to software or operating systems (45 percent).
HSB Home Cyber Protection™
The problem will likely get worse as the number of connected home devices increases, Zeilman said.
In response, we are offering HSB Home Cyber Protection™, a personal lines coverage that can pay for expenses related to cyber attacks on home computers, home systems and appliances, other connected home devices, cyber extortion, data breach and online fraud.
A suite of cyber coverages for consumers
With today’s consumers more connected than ever, it’s important coverage you can add to your homeowners or renters policies. Once only available to businesses, HSB Home Cyber Protection™ is the first personal lines program to bundle these cyber coverages for families and individuals.
Click here to learn more about the coverage and contact your HSB representative.