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    What is the Internet of Things and Why Should You Care? 

    By: Trevor Akervik
    September 8, 2020

    Take a moment to think about all the ways you’re connected via the Internet. Sure, you have the basics: cell phone, laptop, tablet, smart TV, etc. But, what else? Are there things in your home that you control with applications? It’s all too common for homeowners to control their thermostat, garage door, stereo system and air purifier with cell phone applications. I know you might be wondering, what does this have to do with my business?

    The Internet of Things is Everywhere

    Person using their cell phone to run their coffee makerAs more and more devices are connected to the Internet and connected to each other, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. It’s not just in our homes and cars. It’s in the establishments we frequent and the offices where we work.

    Think about your office's smart devices. Is your thermostat network connected? How about your coffee maker, lighting, smart blinds and conference room technology?  

    Connected devices do much more than add ease to our daily lives. Sure, they allow you to stream the same music through every room in the house except for the nursery and the guest room, but they're also master information gatherers. Connected devices learn and store so much data about our personal lives, there's no wonder that someone, somewhere is looking to profit from or exploit that information.  

    Since anything that can be connected seems to be connected (raise your hand if your toothbrush has Bluetooth), it’s important to ask, what’s on the other side of all this connectivity?

    Security Concerns in the Age of IoT

    Every device that connects to a network is also an entry point. Remember when businesses first found out that their office copy machine could be an easy way for hackers to access sensitive data? Now, the potential risk extends beyond what we think of as normal business devices to any device that’s connected to your network.

    When you’re connecting consumer-grade devices to your business network – like coffee pots or a dimmer switch – you need to be aware of the risks that can come along with it.

    How the IoT can Affect Business Security

    Before getting swept up in the convenience the IoT brings, businesses need to make sure their infrastructure is set up in a way that their data isn’t vulnerable. Hackers and cybercriminals have realized that small and medium-sized businesses typically lack the security systems that large, enterprise organizations invest in. Because of this, small and medium-sized businesses have become a popular target for cybercriminals.

    What Can You Do About IoT Security? 

    When it comes to securing your data in the age of IoT, there are a few steps your can take. Here are four simple tips you can implement right away. 

    1. Install Internet security software on all computers, tablets and smartphones—choose a reputable one.
    2. Research before you buy—different devices interact with, store and share data differently.
    3. Be careful with apps—actually take the time to read the privacy policy before accepting the terms. 
    4. Choose strong, unique passwords for all devices, networks and accounts—using a password manager can help. 

    If you are a small or medium-sized business with consumer-grade devices connected to your infrastructure, it’s invaluable to have monitoring and threat protection in place—managed IT services can get you there. 

    Will Your Business Benefit from Managed IT Services?  Get Your Checklist Now

    Topics: Managed Services