Cujo is a Smart Home firewall that protects everything on your network including all those IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Think of it as an immunity system for your home network.
The Cujo is surprisingly unassuming, a small plastic stump like device with light-up eyes that stands in adorable contrast to its mad dog name (the book from Stephen King) and home security mission statement.
The product is designed to bring enterprise-level security to the home network, helping protect against attacks to the increasingly vulnerable world of networked devices, from laptops to smart light bulbs.
Cujo is, for all intents and purposes, a smart firewall. It’s made for an average user to easily understand. You see every single thing on your network through your app. If you got to bad places or bad things come to you, we will block bad behavior and we will send you a friendly notification that someone tried to access your camera.
The company demoed the product at the Disrupt 2016 conference by hacking a baby camera. On a page displaying all of the devices connected to the network, a warning popped up: We blocked an unauthorized attempt to access device ‘IP camera’ from [IP number]. From there, access to the feed can be cut off — or not, if there is no actual threat.
Cujo serves as a peer to a home router, monitoring all network connected devices for malicious activity and sending notifications when something happens, like suspicious file transfers or communications with faraway IP addresses. It’s a bit like the Nest app, only for networked security, rather than fire alarms.
Today’s exploits are less about individual devices than they are about opening up the entire network through a small and seemingly harmless smart gadget. You may think, so what, my lightbulb is going to get hacked. The real challenge is what happens next. Once the bad guys are in the network, they can get to the other devices. They can get to your camera, they can get to your PC and extract files, they can even film you. The FBI director is on record as taping over his webcam when he goes home. That tells you that we’re very exposed.
Part of the company’s current mission is highlighting those exploits for consumers who are likely versed in the threat of PC malware but may be unaware of the growing threat posed by the vulnerability of the Internet of Things.
The biggest advantage has been that it’s the average user who no longer feels private at home, may even put the duct tape over his webcam and just wants something that works — doesn’t want to spend days and months changing and configuring things.
Cujo is available now through Amazon. It’ll be rolling out to “all major retailers” by year’s end. The company anticipates breaking even with the device, eventually monetizing the product with the ongoing security subscription.
I like CUJO’s innovation and focus on home network security. It appears they’ve met their goal of making a friendly and simple to use firewall and the smart phone app is very easy to use.
CUJO is not going to be for everyone, particularly those folks uncomfortable with any cloud service looking at any part of their internet traffic. But for home users who want to protect all the devices on their network, whether they run anti-virus/malware apps or not, CUJO would be worth a try.
CUJO currently sells for $76.85 at Amazon & Walmart, $99.00 at Staples , with BestBuy and Target offering the device soon. It includes a 180 day trial license. After that, you’ll need to subscribe for $8.99 / month, $26 for three months, $49 for six months or $80 for a year of service. If you’re a true CUJO believer, you can opt for a lifetime subscription for $800
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