Secure smart home devices in every household with Miele@home technology.

IT security concepts for smart homes

Starting situation and project objective

The significance of IT security is permeating increasingly large areas of our lives. For instance, smart home devices like lights, washing machines, door locking systems and cameras are connected and can frequently be controlled remotely via the Internet. While bringing new comfort to our lives, this also gives hackers greater opportunities to gain access to home networks. The devices need to be made as safe as possible at an early stage in order to mitigate the risk of a successful cyberattack.

“Miele@home technology” is used to connect numerous devices and integrate them within smart home applications. Among the benefits of this system is that the operating mode of each connected device can be displayed at any time − it’s certainly practical if you can see at a glance when the washing machine running in the basement will be finished with its cycle. What’s more, apps frequently allow users to check the status of various devices wherever they happen to be − for instance to see whether they remembered to switch off the oven. To enable this remote access, the devices are connected via the Internet with Miele’s proprietary server. This type of Internet access requires particular protection, e.g. to prevent cyberattacks.

Solution and customer benefits

This prompted Miele to ask Fraunhofer IEM to scrutinize the security concepts within the “Miele@home” technology at an early stage of their development. In that way, Miele ensures that highly sensitive and confidential data cannot fall into the wrong hands, while also guaranteeing the security of the devices.

The first step was to organize a workshop to analyze device use cases and to define the protection objectives. Fraunhofer IEM took these protection objectives and the potential cybersecurity threat scenarios to analyze the device specifications and to compare them with the state of the art. This made certain that the security concept for the “Miele@home” devices is effective and that customers are afforded the greatest possible protection.