For every technological innovation pushing enterprises forward today, there seem to be just as many horror stories about data leaks, successful hacks, ransomware and worse. It’s enough to give even the most confident business leader pause, and likewise, it’s indicative of a disconnect that exists between the pace of innovation and technological implementation, and the framework and infrastructure that exists to secure these new solutions.
Nowhere is that discrepancy more keenly felt than in the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT). The pace of these technologies is consistently recognised as far surpassing the speed of security solutions that would be capable of keeping devices free from harm, intrusion and malicious intent.
Overcoming uncertainty with a solid business security strategy
Understandably, there can be a reluctance to invest in IoT systems, even those as simple as printers and smart thermostats, due to the risk of them exposing your company’s data. That said, if you overlook introducing new technologies and solutions into your business, you run the risk of being left behind.
While much of the future of IoT remains unclear, there are still ways of future-proofing your approach and strategy in such a way as to maximise your business security – no matter how many or how few IoT devices you choose to implement. One such way is investing in solid, enterprise level security measures such as VPNs and server security.
But there is no “set-and-forget” solution. Even sensitive documents stored on an isolated network could be accessed without sufficient protection. As with many things in cybersecurity, ongoing and persistent vigilance and improvement is essential. For this reason, modern security has to be increasingly proactive in its design, with firewalls and endpoint security tools used to prevent threats before they can even be detected by traditional antivirus and to try and compensate for the risks that human error can pose.
Remember that physical and digital security are interconnected
It’s easy for the physical security of staff and assets to be considered as a separate issue from the digital security of data and sensitive files, yet everything is more connected today than ever. Training your staff in best practices for both, and ensuring that even contractors are also brought into the fold as far as your policies and procedures are concerned, creates a vital framework around keeping your business secure at every level.
With remote working on the rise, it is also essential to consider the security implications of your staff working in public or while travelling. While security tools are essential for protecting data accessed remotely, additional care must be taken with physical devices, which are at increased risk of loss or theft outside the office environment.
The use of strong passwords, two-factor authentication and restricting users access to only the data and documents required for their work, might cause a little grousing within your staff – yet the alternative is a more lax outlook that creates weak links in the chain, which is all an opportunist needs to access your systems and files.
Recognise the smartest ‘smart’ solutions
As with any emerging industrial sector or burgeoning market demographic, there are reams of failed IoT startups and products that have fallen a few steps from the starting gate. While there is a legitimate concern of backing the wrong horse in terms of products, the overall outlook for the market suggests IoT is here to stay.
While the market evens out, don’t be afraid in taking a longer-term view of IoT integration into your own business strategy. Only integrating new devices when confident they support your security best practices, can help to ensure longevity and efficiency, without undermining security.