Can Smart Locks Be Hacked? Probably. Cyber Insurace is The Answer

The rise of online shopping means that the problem of getting stuff delivered to your home address while you’re out is growing. Thinking of getting packages dropped off at work? Many companies now don’t allow employees below a certain pay grade to receive parcels at reception either, which further compounds the inconvenience. Nobody wants to join that ridiculous queue at a Parcel Office on Saturday mornings where a bored earbuds person behind a sliding window explains your ID is wrong, so the package is being sent back blah-blah.

What’s the solution? Smart lock delivery to your home or the boot of your car perhaps. But that has risks too. The growth of the smart lock market presents a new set of risks for brokers to discuss with their clients, according to Ecclesiastical.

Sales of smart locks have rocketed in recent years as consumers embrace connected home technology. The survey revealed more than a quarter (29%) of people in the UK are interested in buying and installing the technology in their homes. Forecasts suggest the global smart lock market was worth more than £980million in 2018 and is expected to rise to more than £2billion by 2024.

Services such as Amazon Key enable couriers to open a customer’s front door and leave packages inside their home. While Waitrose is also trialling smart lock technology to enable delivery drivers to enter a customer’s home while they are out, and put their groceries away.

Last year Skoda/VW Group began a pilot scheme where car boot smart locks are being used for package delivery. The delivery driver uses an app to verify location, plus car reg plate, and then the door locks open. If the delivery driver forgets to press lock, or the app doesn’t work, then the car’s own internal locking mechanism will shut the boot/hatchback again after 30 seconds.

amazon smart home lock delivery

EVERYTHING ELSE HAS BEEN HACKED

But while many of us (34%) believe smart lock technology is convenient and will save us time, the survey also found almost two thirds (63%) of us are concerned about the security risks involved. No surprise really, as banks, airlines, government departments – anyone who has ever used email or IT systems over the last 40 years, has been on the receiving end of hacking and data breaches.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of people surveyed believe smart locks could be hacked, while over half (56%) think smart lock technology services could put their house more at risk of burglary.

For example, cybersecurity consultancy, F-Secure, recently discovered an exploitable design flaw in one brand of smart lock that can allow an attacker to easily pick the device.

Sarah Willoughby, Art and Private Client Development Director at Ecclesiastical said:

“Many clients are considering installing smart lock technology services at their homes, yet our research has highlighted two-thirds of people in the UK are concerned about the security risks involved with smart lock technology. As the adoption of smart lock technologies becomes more mainstream, it’s important that brokers encourage their clients to consider the risks associated with smart lock technology systems. Cyber insurance can offer a safety net should the worst happen and brokers play an important role in helping clients understand the risks they are facing and in ensuring they have the right cover in place.”

A survey of brokers last year found nearly two-fifths (38%) have never sold a cyber policy, yet three-quarters would like to sell more cyber insurance. Ecclesiastical is encouraging brokers to speak to their clients about how best to protect themselves and their households.

Tom Tahany, Operations Manager at Blackstone Consultancy said: “Smart lock technology development is still in its early phases and the devices available on the market today vary in quality. While the concept of smart lock technology services can be safe and secure if they are bespoke and specified correctly, budget smart lock devices available online or from your local hardware store may be vulnerable. We recommend that brokers encourage their clients to consider all the security risks before installing ‘off the shelf’ smart lock technology services in their homes.”

Ecclesiastical, in collaboration with Blackstone Consultancy, has launched new guidance to help brokers talk to their customers about the cyber risks they face. Visit www.ecclesiastical.com/cybersafety for more information.

Last year, Ecclesiastical launched a new enhanced Art and Private Client policy which includes cyber cover with home systems damage as standard, with the option to purchase cyber-crime and cyber online liability as additional covers.

About alastair walker (3081 Articles)
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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