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Making Home Automation Communications Secure
October 2001 (vol. 34 no. 10)
pp. 50-56

Long the futuristic domain of hobbyists, home automation is now moving to the mainstream. This domain involves three significant technological developments:

Focused subsystems consist of specific home features that use local information to automate desired performance, such as programmable thermostats that change home temperature based on a time schedule.

Integrated whole-home behavior lets users combine safety, comfort, health, information, and entertainment needs into one system that, for example, can change environmental settings based on variable home occupant activities rather than a fixed time schedule.

Distributed-home-automation applications, enabled by widespread adoption of the Internet, run substantially outside the home, eliminating the need for a PC and making these applications easy to upgrade or tailor for specific individuals and markets.

Although these new communications technologies offer numerous benefits, they also open home automation to many security threats. To protect against these threats within the limited resources of a typical home automation system, the authors have developed a family of products based on Honeywell's Global Home Server, a remote Web site that provides secure Internet access and other services to client installations.

The GHS system is now operational, with initial product deployments in both the United States and Europe. Expanding on this work, the authors are developing security products that use different media and processors, can function in aircraft as well as in homes, and run various novel applications.

Citation:
Peter Bergstrom, Kevin Driscoll, John Kimball, "Making Home Automation Communications Secure," Computer, vol. 34, no. 10, pp. 50-56, Oct. 2001, doi:10.1109/2.955099
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