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The Internet of Things and Cybersecurity

As technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, more often than not we are left with smart devices. Every day it seems like there is a new device which connects wirelessly to something else. Our phones have become a powerhouse tool capable of starting our cars, locking our doors, regulating our pools, controlling the air conditioning in our house. The list goes on. All of these devices can be categorized as the Internet of Things (IoT). That is to say, they are things which can connect to the internet. We live in a giant, wholly interconnected world now more than ever.

With IoT, comes a myriad of both advantages and disadvantages. Some of which I will lay out for you now.

Advantages

With the interconnectivity which comes with IoT, also comes some major business advantages. With remote monitoring, you can check the status of your store through security cameras which send the feed to your phone. You can control the thermostat, turn the lights on or off, and even check to see if the doors are locked. You can also work from home (or the bar – don’t worry, I won’t tell!). Not to mention the ease at which you can schedule conference calls and video chats. With an IoT enabled office, you never have to miss out on work again.

Disadvantages

Although the advantages to IoT greatly outweigh the disadvantages, there is one very important disadvantage to an IoT enabled office (but don’t worry, it’s easy to prevent). Cybersecurity. Because so many different devices have internet access these days, it becomes easier and easier for hackers to take advantage of weak points in your system, and as soon as they can compromise one device, they have access to the rest of your network, which includes all your data, files, and other devices. (Check out this article about a casino getting hacked through their fish tank!)

Cybersecurity and IoT

Because IoT devices often come with easy to crack passwords, updates which are easy to spoof, and general vulnerability, it is more important than ever to ensure each of your devices is properly protected. In order to do this, there are three major checkpoints you should ensure are being met:

  • Each device needs proper antivirus, patch updates and complex passwords, which are changed every three months;
  • All the data that is shared between devices is encrypted, so as to keep it from being spied upon by unwanted eyes; and,
  • Set user levels to restrict certain devices/ people from accessing data they have no business accessing

By following these suggestions, and by keeping your entire IT system up-to-date, you can be fairly confident in the safety of your data. IoT is a wonderful option for any business which can allow for ease of access, and increase productivity – so long as you’re using it properly, and responsibly.

Talk to me today to find out how MicroAge can help set up your office and keep you up-to-date, and protected!

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As service providers to more than 300 companies, the dedicated professionals at MicroAge are second to none when it comes to managed services. By improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing downtime, we can help you achieve your business goals!

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