Gadgets vs Engineered Solutions

There are more ways to turn on a light bulb now than ever. First, the pull-chain switch, next the wall button, then the toggle, the clapper, and now motion detection, via cellphone and voice. The control options are growing, and not just for lights, thermostats, shades and door locks. They all have their own apps. These standalone items are great, especially if you have a family member who is willing to play the role of tech support. The dilemma is that for these devices to work properly lots of details need to be attended to. Configuration of your router may be one of them.

Most web devices make things easy by connecting to the manufacturer and configuring themselves. Here lies the issue. Every device that connects to the internet is an open door to your network and a potential security risk. There are numerous recent hacks that use back doors of internet connected devices. Manufacturers offer security patches, but few people, even the techies do firmware upgrades on these simple devices. Most of these devices are inexpensive and have only a few years of expected life before they need to be replaced, reconfigured, and relearned, all while new security risks arise.

Engineered Solutions are very different. They are designed for reliability and security and are managed by professionals who install upgrades and security patches as needed. Better systems use a virtual network, which hides all of the devices from the outside world, by using a firewall to allow only a single point of access.