Smart tech is the smart choice so long as it’s well-engineered

A few weeks ago, we learned about Amazon’s ambitious plans for Amazon Key. Amazon Key is a solution that allows Amazon delivery people to leave packages inside the home rather than outside the door. They do this by converting traditional door locks to smartlocks, which can be accessed by Amazon when needed. A camera is included to monitor the drop offs. I expect that Amazon has done their market research; They know that some consumers will prefer the risk of giving Amazon access to their home over the risk that packages could go missing. Additionally, the service avoids the inconvenience of having to wait at home for deliveries  This is the same tradeoff between operational efficiency and security that Sera4 solves for industrial infrastructure.

Smartlock security was put to the test at last year’s DEFCON conference, where hackers try to break security. Twelve out of sixteen tested smartlocks were hacked within 15 minutes using simple digital equipment. I had hoped that this would send a message to our industry to take security more seriously. Unfortunately, Amazon’s newly-released smartlock system has already been hacked. Although the current vulnerabilities don’t show how to unlock someone’s house without authorization, the security holes destroy trust in the video surveillance that is a core component of the Amazon Key system. I don’t feel confident to put this on my front door. I doubt anyone wants a lock on their house that let hackers walk in, no matter how “smart” the feature list appears.

Designing secure smartlocks is not easy. It requires both physical security and logical security. People have been designing for physical security for centuries. We’ve largely figured out how to do that. Designing for secure wireless control is a new area, where many designers are still just learning. It’s not surprising that they overlook things.  Security is Sera4’s specialty. Since we don’t aim to get our products in residential front doors, I hope that someone else brings secure residential smartlocks to market soon. If not, adoption is going to be very slow, or we’re going to have a lot of unexpected burglaries in the near future.

Your Wi-Fi Security is Obsolete!

Today, the world came to know that Wi-Fi has a catastrophic vulnerability in its negotiation of security keys.

Unlike the cracking of WEP (over 15 years ago) – this represents a huge concern for individual and corporate “privacy” as:

  • the reliance of Wi-Fi for data transport has become the default standard rather than the exception,
  • without software updates, there is no “alternate” way to configure your network to protect yourself (short of turning it off)

Fortunately, the report of the WPA2 security hole came many months ago – allowing vendors to implement fixes to their products.

Unfortunately, it will take many years to proliferate those fixes to everyone and every device.  I shudder to think how many products will be abandoned as “obsolete” by their manufacturers, meanwhile millions of users will go unprotected.

This Public Service Announcement hopefully highlights your immediate need to seek firmware upgrades for all your Wi-Fi devices (phones, laptops, routers)!

All our customers can rest assured that Sera4 products are not subject to this type of attack. Our current technologies and strict security protocols – prevent “man-in-the-middle” attacks – and we’re staying on top of all security threats to maintain our leadership in high-tech security.

Will Your Employees’ Mobile Devices Work With New Smart Locks?

Will your employees’ phones all work with the new Smart Locks you want to buy?

Designing and supporting a wireless application for the many variants of Android is challenging.  Add to this, a plethora of device manufacturers who use a variety of wireless stacks, and you get:          an interoperability nightmare

Just ask Kevo, they support only specific devices from 5 Android device manufacturers.

In today’s day and age, we are subject to traditional hardware makers trying to “tack on” technology (and worse yet — digital security) to their products.

Have you seen the Whirlpool washing machine with Wi-Fi?

Consider that the leaders of tomorrow are the technology companies that live/breathe/understand a complex, mobile, Internet.

Netflix is the tech pioneer changing the landscape of media content production and distribution.

Tesla is the genius changing the landscape of many industries.

Uber — need I say more?

Sera4 is a tech company focusing on the integration of secure high technology into the physical security packages you already use and trust. Turning your traditional padlock, electric strike, or maglock into “Smart Locks” is what we do.  Our application already interoperates with over 300 different mobile device / operating system pairings. We are pairing our technology expertise with the best in physical security — not just to add a cool feature – but to evolve the market.

Sera4 launches Padlock

Sera4 announces the availability of a padlock that works seamlessly with the Teleporte network. This padlock extends the Teleporte network to any place without requiring installed locks and facilitates blended sites: padlocks and other lock types controlled on the same network and interface.