Norton Core, Wi-Fi Router to Secure Smart Home Devices
PC users must have heard the name Symantec. They are the developers behind the famous antivirus software, Norton. In 2017, Symantec decided to enter the hardware business, but it is still not far from its specialty in the field of antivirus and malware protection.
A new way of thinking about digital security is needed to keep cybercriminals out of our homes. This starts with reconsidering the digital equivalent of our doorsteps: the router. The new Norton CoreTM secure Wi-Fi router is one example of this reinvention of the router to provide digital protection for the home. It leverages Symantec’s decades of experience in cybersecurity to create multiple layers of defense, helping to protect users’ data and all the connected personal devices throughout their home network.
The router that manages the internet traffic going to and from all of the devices in your home may, in fact, be the single most important piece of digital equipment you have when it comes to security. That is because it may be the weakest link in your digital security chain, according to Kevin Haley, director of security response at Symantec. If you did not purchase or rent your router from your internet service provider recently, it may no longer have the latest security patches and other features installed, says Haley. Also, older routers may not be able to receive automatic firmware updates, which often include security enhancements.
The Norton Core helps alleviate this problem by updating it self with the latest firmware automatically. What is more, Core also monitors data from your entire connected home, identifies security issues and sums everything up in a single number called your Security Score. A few quick clicks on the app may be all it takes to help make your home network more secure.
The device also improves on conventional routers in other ways. Modeled after the geodesic dome design of defense radar systems, the Norton Core is designed to be attractive, and thus placed where it can be seen, not hidden behind a couch or somewhere else that may block or hinder its Wi-Fi signals — and this gives its dual band Wi-Fi and beam-forming antenna tower even greater reach.
Connected light bulbs, thermostats, locks, baby monitors and other Internet of Things devices all make life easier, but they also represent new vulnerabilities. “They are more vulnerable because they lack even some basic safeguards,” says Haley. For example, he explains, although some routers update themselves or prompt users to update manually to receive the latest security updates and other enhancements, fewer IoT devices do so, making them more vulnerable to attacks.
One vulnerability found by researchers7 at the University of Michigan allowed hackers to change or introduce new codes for internet-connected door locks. These researchers also found ways to set off false alarms in connected smoke alarms. Once discovered, such potential hacks can be fixed with firmware updates — but only if manufacturers develop them.
Since Norton Core monitors internet traffic flowing to and from IoT devices, anything that deviates from the norm sends up a red flag. From there, Norton Core can isolate compromised devices — or take them offline entirely. As a result, with the Core, home security doesn’t depend on individual manufacturers to issue fixes or users to install them.
PCs and Laptops
Desktop and laptop computers remain attractive targets to hackers. While security software installed on individual computers goes a long way — particularly if both software and computers are kept updated experts, such as those at the SANS Institute, also recommend what they call a “layered approach” to security.
Norton Core, with its own regularly updated firmware, fortifies security software on PCs, laptops, tablets and phones by continually scanning for malware, intrusions, and even spam to catch threats before they reach devices on the network. Just in case, however, Norton Core also comes with a subscription to Norton Core Security software that can be installed on an unlimited number of connected personal PCs, Macs and Android and iOS devices.
This layered approach to security is practiced by major corporations and is seen by experts as increasingly important for the home as well, according to Haley. “If you have security on your router and on your desktop,” Haley explains, “that would be layered security and you would be following best practices as done in almost every business of any size in the world.”
Protecting Kids Online
Our children, who are often glued to their device screens, are simultaneously a risk and at risk. They may be particularly vulnerable to clicking on the wrong links and accidentally viewing inappropriate material. Their time online can also be difficult to manage as connected devices proliferate throughout the house.
Norton Core handles these concerns — security from a home network standpoint and the need to keep kids safe on the internet. Using the Norton Core app, parents can set daily time limits on screen time, set bed time schedules, activate content filters and more. This gives parents flexibility to manage internet content and time spent online, while helping families to plan better and enjoy their time together.
Not only is the router is firmware updated, but so too are content filters that prevent children seeing inappropriate material or accessing potentially dangerous sites. The filters are intended only as guides, however. The app allows parents to selectively allow or block access to individual websites and other material as they see fit, giving them full control over their children’s internet experience.
State of the art security now begins at the network level.
Norton is industry leading software protects your PC, laptops and smartphones from hackers and cybercriminals. But today is connected homes, with smart TV, Internet security cameras, WiFi thermostats and baby monitors, require something more. Through deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention, and more, Core defends your home at the network level. Core fends off cyber-threats before they can infiltrate your home and compromise your personal life.
Included with Norton Core is a Norton Core Security Plus subscription that helps protect an unlimited number of your connected personal devices on your home network against malware, viruses, hackers, and cybercriminals.