Equipping homes, offices and other properties with wireless alarm and remote surveillance systems has become a common means of protecting against burglars. These systems help individuals and organizations react quickly and easily to any intrusion, in addition to offering them peace of mind in their day-to-day lives.
Unfortunately, these systems can also be faulty or suffer from breakdowns if the internet connection they rely on to communicate with their security companies is compromised. For example, it was discovered in 2016 that burglars with rudimentary hacking skills could crack the PINs of SimpliSafe’s alarms to turn the devices off from within—leaving the provider’s 300,000 customers vulnerable to intrusion and danger.
To overcome network connectivity issues and ensure home alarm systems work around the clock, alarm system manufacturers should equip their devices with IoT technologies that securely transmit surveillance data when there’s a threat on the property. Moreover, by running their security systems on IoT-specific networks like 0G, property owners can minimize the risk of jamming or lost connectivity, keeping their homes and properties safe.
Diminished Risk of Jamming
One of the biggest threats to wireless security devices is radio jamming, which occurs when a malicious actor illegally purchases a radio frequency jammer tool and uses it to block alarm devices’ connections to their affiliated security company. If alarms can’t properly communicate through their network—which is typically cellular—then they cannot notify security providers when there’s a crisis.
To prevent jamming, security companies should consider connecting IoT-enabled alarm systems to a low-powered, wide-area network, like a 0G network. A 0G network is a dedicated, wireless network that is specifically designed to send small, critical messages from any IoT device to the Internet. Created to conserve devices power so that they can operate for long stretches of time without needing their batteries replaced, this network does not rely on traditional, constant and synchronized two-way communication protocol between the device and the receiver. Once the IoT device wakes up and sends the data asynchronously to the 0G network, it goes back into sleep-mode—closing the window for interception.
Coupling the robustness of the 0G signaling scheme and randomness of its data transmissions, a 0G network is nearly impossible to jam. To do so would be exceptionally expensive for the intruder, while also requiring extremely high-power antennas to jam an ultra-narrowband 0G network. Therefore, IoT-enabled devices paired to a 0G network are organizations and homeowners’ best bet for protection.
In addition to serving as a primary network that can’t be jammed, a 0G network functions well as a backup option for companies and individuals that need to rely on more traditional networks, like WiFi, cellular or Bluetooth. If those connections should ever fail, then alarms can’t immediately signal intrusion and dispatch law enforcement—rendering the system useless. To overcome this risk and ensure 24/7 protection to customers, security companies should consider running their devices on more than one network (e.g., the internet or cellular and 0G).
With a backup network, not only can companies safeguard against losses in connectivity, but also against hackers or other types of interference. For example, once an attempt of interference or jamming is identified by detection of a loss of GSM signal, the control panel sends an alert via the secondary network, which can then prompt the security protocol from the security company’s central station. This “last breath” signal allows the security company, per protocol, to dispatch personnel to the property to assess the situation and make sure everything is alright. What the backup network essentially does is create a second channel of communication with the company’s remote monitoring station in order to guarantee continuity of service, and keep inhabitants protected.
Security systems are meant to ease anxieties—so users shouldn’t have to worry about the risk of them failing. To eliminate such risks, security companies can pair their alarms to IoT networks to create more secure, stable and reliable systems. By doing so, security companies can feel confident knowing they’re offering their customers the best, most protective systems on the market.