Smart Home Cybersecurity Challenges: An Assessment of End-User Knowledge and a Training Solution to Mitigate These Challenges

Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Information Systems and Technology, PhD


Center for Information Systems and Technology

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Wallace Chipidza

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Itamar Shabtai

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Chinazunwa Uwaoma

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Ali Nusair


Smart home, IoT, vulnerabilities, smart devices, cybersecurity, hacking, social engineering, identity theft, Smart Home Security App

Subject Categories

Computer Engineering | Systems Science


As the digital revolution unfolds, individuals are increasingly transforming their traditional homes into smart homes, adopting semi- and fully automated smart devices. This transformative shift, fueled by advancements in information technology, presents vast social and economic opportunities. Despite the burgeoning number of smart devices in the market, a surge in smart home adoption has concurrently given rise to profound security challenges. Predominantly, end-users, often possessing rudimentary knowledge of associated risks, remain vulnerable to breaches of their privacy and security. Given that smart devices, interconnected and internet-enabled, relay substantial data, they are attractive targets for hackers. One fundamental reason for these challenges is the end-users' lack of requisite knowledge to safeguard their smart homes. To address these challenges, there's a pressing need for effective knowledge dissemination. This dissertation introduces two artifacts: a training framework detailing smart home vulnerabilities and best practices for cybersecurity, and an application named "Smart Home Security App". This application prompts users to update their passwords biannually and continuously monitors for potential security breaches. Drawing from an extensive literature review, the two artifacts were developed. To evaluate the framework's effectiveness, a set of 34 survey questions was crafted, reflecting key cybersecurity knowledge areas. Fifteen participants, after providing written consent, responded to these questions. Their initial responses informed the development of the first artifact, and post-training, the same questions were administered. Notably, there was a marked enhancement in the participants' understanding of smart home security post-training. Leveraging the Design Science Research methodology, the artifact's efficacy as a consumer training tool was assessed.



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