What Is The Internet Of Things?

What Is The Internet Of Things?

The ever-expanding network of Internet of Things devices offers a range of convenient benefits to consumers, and provides exciting applications in the business world as well, from office space management to agriculture weather monitoring.

Did you know that 20.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be online by the end of this year?

This technology, from wearables to office space appliances, has become a big part of the business world — do you know what it is and how it works?

What Is The Internet of Things?

The IoT is a natural evolution of the Internet, consisting of a range of new “smart” and “connected” products and technologies for the commercial, consumer, and government environments.

In addition, on the consumer and office side, vendors are rushing to meet the growing market demand for new products that are always-on, connected, and available. The ever-expanding network of IoT devices offers a range of convenient benefits to consumers, and offers exciting applications in the business world.

Whether it’s a smart fridge in the home, a smart display sign out front of a McDonalds, or the smart console in a user’s car, IoT devices can vary greatly in purpose and usage.

Are IoT Devices Secure?

Not necessarily. IoT devices are becoming a more and popular target for cybercriminals.

Unfortunately, aspects of product security and lifecycle are often treated as an afterthought at best in the development and production of these products. More and more of us are buying devices for our homes and offices, and even devices that we carry with us, that require a connection to the Internet.

Have you stopped to consider the risks?

As a so-far unregulated aspect of the IT world, IoT devices have been developed with minimal or nonexistent security features, despite the fact that they often connect over networks to sensitive data.

If your IoT devices aren’t safeguarded, cybercriminals can do a lot of damage to your organization:

  • Capturing information traveling through the network.
  • Turning off critical systems like the breakroom refrigerator, office alarm system, etc.
  • Taking control of utilities like the thermostat

How Can You Use IoT Devices Securely?

Statistica estimates that only 28% of business executives are intending to invest further in IoT-based security.

Users that are concerned about the security of their IoT devices and networks can start to improve their defenses simply by treating their devices like they would any others, and follow these key cybersecurity best practices:

  • Password Management: Just as a user shouldn’t leave the default administrator login and password set on their router, their laptop, or other hardware, they shouldn’t do so with the smart fridge they just bought for the office break room either.  IoT users should make sure to set unique and complex passwords for all their devices and update them every 90 days.
  • Network Monitoring: Given that IoT devices are connected to a network, whether it’s private Wi-Fi at home or an enterprise solution at work, that network needed to be observed properly to spot any attempts by external parties to break into it. Investing in a network monitoring solution, or outsourcing it to a third party IT company will help to protect networks that include IoT devices.
  • Update and Patch Management: Just as patches and updates need to be applied for conventional software and hardware in use, the same is true of IoT devices. The firmware that these devices operate on will need to be kept up to date with the latest patches issued by developers to make sure that they are kept secure against recently discovered vulnerabilities.
  • SOCI & SIEM: SIEM technology provides a secure cloud service that provides 24/7 security and operation monitoring to oversee your IoT devices and network as a whole. A SOC team can monitor user reports and a range of data sources – such as logs — from information systems and cybersecurity controls to further protect your IoT network.
  • The combination of SOC & SIEM will do a lot to mitigate the potential risk of using IoT devices at your practice, with an automated system tracking security events, and an outsourced team to respond to issues as they occur in real time.
  • Commercial Grade Firewalls: This type of security hardware adds another layer of protection between hackers and your IoT devices, ensuring they’re kept safe from common types of attacks. Make sure you invest in commercial-grade firewalls, which are developed with business use and purposes in mind, as opposed to limited consumer firewalls.

Outsource IT Solutions Group Will Help You Manage And Secure IoT

While those are individual steps that users can take to enhance IoT security independently, it is potentially beneficial to outsource the effort to an expert team that has the time and resources to devote to it. Outsource IT Solutions Group will help you take advantage of the IoT without compromising your security.

Here’s how you can take advantage of the IoT, without taking on any extra risks:

  • Book a free cybersecurity consultation with our team at a time that fits your schedule.
  • Find out how IoT devices can be integrated into your workplace, and how our team can keep them secure.
  • Enjoy the advantages offered by IoT, without putting your organization’s data at risk.

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