With many devices collecting personal information including name, address, date of birth, credit card details and even health information, vulnerabilities are multiplied in the cloud and on mobile apps that work alongside the home device. Many devices are also transmitting information unencrypted, so users are "one network misconfiguration away from exposing this data to the world via wireless networks" according to HP.
Fool.com notes that in 2013 a tech journalist was legally able to hack into eight homes of people using Insteon home-automation products through an online flaw in the company's software. In some cases, she found out the physical address of the homeowners, names of their kids, and other personal information. HP's data shows that companies still have a long way to go in making make security in a connected home device a to priority. 70% of the most popular connected devices on the market contain major vulnerabilities according to HP.
But in spite of these vulnerabilities security is not "an on-off binary property" according to Harvard professor Bruce Schneierer. Schneier teaches that security is "relative and situational":
I feel secure in my home, even though it’s vulnerable. I feel secure on airplanes, even though they occasionally crash ... in general, Internet security is pretty good. The Internet is surprisingly safe. We’re able to work and play on the Internet without many problems. Of course there’s a lot of cybercrime, but it’s minor.Towergate predicts that the connected home market will be worth £40bn in 2018 and that UK insurers are likely to pick up on the trend creating tailored packages for consumers with connected homes. This may work particularly well for buy-to-let landlord insurance and Towergate lists a number of products such as motion sensors, security cameras, smart bulbs, smart locks and even smart appliances that are currently IoT enabled and may lead landlords to a cheaper insurance premium.