such as DDoS attacks taking down popular websites.
As the single “mousehole” for data to enter and leave the house, that router is also the best place to watch and control home network traffic. But, most routers presently don’t have this capability. And, as routers age and new malware/vulnerabilities such as VPNFilter are uncovered, it is clear that people do have a real need to upgrade their home routers. This is why consumers will be hearing a lot about new and improved routers in the upcoming months.
While many of these expanded router functions will be described in technical terms such as a security platform, they also can be categorized by the three questions I asked at the beginning of my Great Mouse Hunt:
What exactly is that device? – A smart router will help identify smart devices in the home and even categorize them by type and basic activities. By remembering connected devices, a smart router can give you a more accurate, historic view of devices on the network than a one-off assessment.
What exactly is that smart device doing? – A smart router such as the up and coming SafeThings takes a look at what each device is doing and the data which it is sending and receiving. Add in some AI, and a router can automatically identify when a device is suddenly using far more data than it normally does.
How do I get rid of this device? – Armed by AI and a cloud-based list of malware and suspect sites, a smart router can automatically do this task. It can set and enforce your connectivity limits. If a device communicates with a known malware distribution site, the router can end the conversation. Directed by the settings, the process of cutting out the bad conversations should be so autonomous, homeowners do not need to directly end the online conversation themselves.
If your home has a problem with an infestation of smart devices, don’t worry – relief is on the way. Until then, remember to change default passwords, keep your devices updated, and maybe just turn the entire router off.
As a PR Consultant and journalist, Frink has covered IT security issues for a number of security software firms, as well as provided reviews and insight on the beer and automotive industries (but usually not at the same time). Otherwise, he’s known for making a great bowl of popcorn and extraordinary messes in a kitchen.