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How the Internet of Things (IoT) Can Hurt Your Small Business

How the Internet of Things (IoT) Can Hurt Your Small Business

The Internet of Things isn’t just a convenient way to get things done; it can be dangerous. As more people start to use the IoT, it becomes a weak point in security for many organizations. Organizations now need to deal with smartphones, tablets, and even coffee makers, all connected to their WiFi and potentially their network. The threat of a security event continues to grow as malicious attackers become more adept at taking over and utilizing these devices.

The Threat of the IoT

The Internet of Things is one of the largest threats to businesses today. However, it’s impossible to “defeat.” Customers and employees alike are going to continue to use IoT devices, as they are convenient and accessible products. Small business owners need to be able to react to IoT devices while still incorporating them into their framework.

Smartphones are an example of a tool that is beneficial for most organizations but can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Smartphones make it easier for employees to answer questions, get information, and even work on documents on-the-fly. However, they represent a very real security risk: a stolen smartphone could contain proprietary or personal information related to the business or could allow someone to access the network directly.

Hardware firewalls can be installed to control traffic in and out of your network, while firmware and hardware updates need to be completed to ensure that IoT devices are not currently vulnerable to any known malicious attacks.

Protecting Businesses from IoT

Protecting an organization from IoT related threats is a three-fold mission:

  1. Training. Employees have to be trained to be aware of the threats that they face. They need to be aware that they have to secure their devices properly, such as by locking their phones, tablets, and laptops. They need to understand that their access to their files and computers has to be protected. Moreover, there should be very real and clear consequences to security breaches and lax security enforcement outlined in employee manuals, so they understand the gravity of the situation. Phishing attempts and social engineering attempts can bypass both software and security; employees need to be aware of them.
  2. Software. Antivirus and malware detecting solutions will be able to protect a network from intrusion, while granular security controls prevent employees from having access to more of the network than is required for their work. By setting security permissions and roles, you can lessen the chances of important information being leaked in the event that an employee’s accounts are compromised.
  3. Hardware. Hardware firewalls can be installed to control traffic in and out of your network, while firmware and hardware updates need to be completed to ensure that IoT devices are not currently vulnerable to any known malicious attacks.

Is your business in need of customized technology services and solutions?

At Johnson Business Technology Solutions, we can help your business step into the modern era through security audits, training, and support. Contact us to begin training your employees and to upgrade your security solutions to fight this threat. You can schedule an appointment today.

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