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The Avira digital door lock security test: Top marks for the Nuki Smart Lock
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The Avira digital door lock security test: Top marks for the Nuki Smart Lock

Stay Secure 27.02.2020 | Sebastian Scholz

How secure are smart locks? Can electronic door locks be hacked? How securely are my data encrypted when using Smart Home products?
These and other topics are the subject of lively debates during trade fairs and on social networks.

As our comprehensive security concept demonstrates, we continuously invest resources into making our products secure. Nevertheless, external checks are as crucial as internal diligence. Therefore, it is a matter of course for us to regularly have our Nuki products tested and certified by external security institutes, such as the German AV-Test.

As Smart Home products are growing in popularity, their level of security is also subjected to more and more inspections by leading companies in the cyber security industry. Avira takes a leading role, and is considered to be the foremost expert for IT security. The German company is known around the world for its anti-virus software, offering one of the most popular private solutions with 240 million users. Already in 1988, the company launched one of the first professional anti-virus software programmes on the market.

How secure are digital door locks?

This is a question not only customers often ask themselves. Avira has also addressed this issue in its blog. When certain criteria are met, electronic door locks are very secure. This is what the experts discovered after analysing six different solutions. All digital access solutions were found to offer secure communication via Bluetooth. On top of the rather limited range of Bluetooth, digital door locks cannot be seen from the outside, which adds to the level of security. Avira comes to the conclusion that five out of six tested products offer a sound basic level of security. The Nuki Smart Lock passed this test with the best-possible rating of three stars, providing everything that is expected of a smart locking system.

The cylinder as a weak spot

Even if it is theoretically possible to circumvent the security of a digital locking system, this would still require much greater effort than breaking into the door by forcing through or picking the mechanical cylinder. Because most smart locks are installed on top of the existing cylinder, a smart lock does not fundamentally alter the existing locking cylinder. For this reason, it is first and foremost important that the locking cylinder meets a high standard of quality. If the cylinder fails to meet such discerning quality standards, we recommend using modern security cylinders which can be locked from both sides and have an emergency function, such as the CISA Astral S. If the combination of tried-and-tested Smart Lock and first-class locking cylinder is used, leading security companies such as Avira confirm that Smart Locks are secure, demonstrating that comfort and security can go definitely hand in hand.

Sebastian Scholz
Nerd? Designer? Smart Home enthusiast? Probably a little bit of everything. I am fascinated by new technology, different ways of thinking, and cat videos. Trekkie? Warsie? I'd say about 30:70 – I don't like seeing things in black and white, although I'd make an exception for interior design.