By now most people will have heard of the Internet of Things – in layman’s terms, everyday objects being fitted with computing devices, which connect to the Internet and can send & receive data. If an object can have a computer embedded, it likely does or will have soon. According to the Cisco Visual Network Index, almost a half a billion mobile devices were added in 2016, and globally we trade 7.2 exabytes of data through mobile traffic. The same report postulates by 2021 mobile data will be 49 exabytes – 7 times where it is today! And, everyday objects in our homes and offices make up a huge portion of the mobile traffic.
What The Internet Of Things Might Mean For Your Middle Market Company
Do you know exactly how many devices (outside of your main computer network) are communicating with the outside world? What data do those devices capture? How is it stored and transmitted? How often? What security protocols are being followed?
Unfortunately, most people don’t think about someone accessing their network through a fridge, but Internet of Things items are sometimes frighteningly susceptible. ZD Net and TechRadar have both covered this issue. Middle Market firms must be aware protecting data and security need to extend beyond PCs and networks.
How To Keep Your Middle Market Organization Protected
First, take stock of what other devices in your buildings connect to the internet. Everything from your environmental systems to small appliances should be evaluated. Next, if they do have an internet connection, investigate in what capacity. Find out how, what, and why they capture, store, and transmit data and what security is in place. Usually, you can find this out by simply reading manufacturer data, but you might need to dig a bit deeper.
Then, evaluate why each item would need to be connected to the internet and then weigh the pros vs. the cons for your organization. Some items may make sense in a home setting, but not in your corporate offices. Find out if you’re able to disconnect unnecessary items and do so if you can. If not, find out if you can control what data is stored and how it is transmitted. Lastly, work to ensure every item which is communicating via the internet is protected by your firewalls and through the same data protection measures you follow with PCs and other office equipment.
Long-Term Outlook For Your Middle Market Company Pays Off Now And In The Future
Once you’ve gone through the process of cataloging and updating Internet of Things items in your offices, add it into your security documentation and make sure to continue the process with any new devices that come into your systems. Then, periodically re-evaluate and update your policies and documentation as needed. Staying on top of the situation and being aware is your best course of action.
The Internet of Things will continue to grow, and new devices will be fitted with computers seemingly every day. Spending time researching, documenting and configuring items for security within your Middle Market organization will be time well spent.
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