The Internet of Things (IoT) is developing at a staggering pace. A catch-all term for the network of interconnected, internet-enabled devices, appliances, and other products that can communicate with each other, IoT is taking over the business landscape, and its market is expected to grow to over $3 trillion annually by 2026. How is that possible? We’re giving you the rundown on all the pros and cons of this new wave of transformative technology.
The Future Is Here
There’s a simple reason IoT devices are growing in popularity. They’re pretty cool. An office where automatic thermostats adjust to your preferred temperature as soon as you enter the room, your smart desk charges your phone as soon as its placed on the surface, and tracking an important package can be done with such pinpoint precision that you know the speed it’s traveling; sounds like fun.
Beyond the wow factor, however, IoT solutions are helping businesses of all types increase productivity, be more efficient, and make more informed decisions. Smart devices can help manage inventory and automatically order new supplies when they run low. Real-time access to your employee’s locations could help you improve workflow and time management. The increased comfort of smart lighting systems and smart conference rooms that store data from previous meetings can make employees happier and more efficient and allow you to attract top talent.
A Cause for Concern
As the IoT takeover develops, there are some legitimate reasons for concern. With the demand for smart devices exploding, many manufacturers have rushed these products to the market without adequately addressing the inherent security issues involved. The staggering amount of data that IoT devices generate represents a treasure trove for cyber criminals with seemingly endless entry points for data theft. And the manufacturers’ reluctance to add cumbersome and expensive security features to these gadgets means your new device could be woefully unsecure. Hackers already know this and have responded by targeting these vulnerabilities. As IBM noted, IoT attacks jumped 600 percent in 2018 alone.
Safely Implementing IoT
So how do you stay current and implement IoT devices while still mitigating your chances of a data breach? Here are a few must-dos:
- Choose reputable vendors. Although brand names might be slightly more expensive, you want to make sure the manufacturer has an established reputation for creating secure devices.
- Separate your employee’s home IoT devices and work IoT devices. If one of your employees is hacked outside of the office, the last thing you want is for them to then connect that device to your systems. Create a policy that ensures this won’t happen.
- Secure your router. Often the first point of attack, your router can indeed be hacked, and if this happens, it will leave your entire system vulnerable. Enabling firewalls and installing a good endpoint security solution are a must.
- Create strong passwords. Change all factory preset passwords associated with your product. They can sometimes be easy to hack or have been repeated across devices. Always use unique passwords for every new purchase. Make them more than ten characters and a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters with symbols and numbers mixed in.
- Consider what’s necessary. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment. Decide whether the latest invention that’s captured everyone’s attention will actually help your business overall.
IoT is a trend you can’t ignore. Sooner or later, you’ll be sporting the latest hyper-efficient gadgets that can help your business bloom. But all the data generated will be hard to manage and even more challenging to keep secure. Employing a designated MSP like Haselkorn can alleviate that stress. Contact us and we’ll get your IoT devices up and running while making sure they’re also safe and secure, so you can cruise into the future without looking over your shoulder.