The Internet of Things is making its way into even the smallest of organisations. But what does this mean for security? Does IoT enhance business security… or does it leave you more vulnerable?
A 100% ‘smart’ society? It’s certainly not outside the realms of possibility. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is expanding at a rapid rate. And the idea of having all these interconnected devices and machines that communicate with each other, and control one other based on the data they collect and analyse, means a smart future is entirely likely. A society where we never have to learn to drive; the car does it all. A society where we never visit a GP; we’re diagnosed remotely using sensors.
Of course, we’re not quite there yet. But the fact is that IoT is already being used in many areas of life. Including the business world. More and more organisations are using IoT to reduce energy consumption, maintain equipment, track vehicles, monitor inventory, and much, much more.
On the whole, IoT can bring massive advantages when implemented in the right way. And it’s natural for leaders to be focused on the direct business benefits: cost savings, efficiency, productivity, and reduced downtime. But it’s also important to consider the impact IoT could have on security.
IoT & business security
So does IoT have a positive impact on small business security? Or a negative effect? Well, the answer isn’t quite as simple as just saying IoT is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There are elements of both. And the impact that IoT will have on your own business security really depends on how you choose to use it.
The Internet of Things can be used to enhance physical business security through the development of a smart, interconnected security system. By connecting video surveillance, alarm systems and motion detection devices with remote access software used on tablets, computers, or smartphones, businesses can more closely monitor their workspaces to protect valuable assets.
IoT can have a massively positive impact on supply chain security, too. As we all know, the more lengthy and complex the supply chain, the greater the risk. Using IoT, businesses can collect data from across multiple points in the network, analysing this information to make smarter decisions, eliminate waste, and ultimately simplify the supply chain to reduce risk as much as possible.
Implementing any new technology – not just IoT – introduces a whole new set of technological risks. And when it comes to the Internet of Things, the more devices you connect to your network, the more you’re expanding your attack surface, and the more potential entry points you’re creating for cybercriminals. Without a plan in place, embracing IoT could leave your business open to attack.
But – as we mentioned above – the impact you’ll see all comes down to how you use IoT. While risks such as vulnerability exploitation, malware attacks, and data manipulation/loss certainly exist, a strong cyber security strategy can help to minimise this risk. Consider aspects such as strong endpoint security, employee awareness and training, password management and encryption.
Overall, IoT holds the power to completely revolutionise how small businesses operate, while simultaneously enhancing their approach to security. But as with any technology, it’s vital to consider the challenges that come with new implementations, and be prepared to tackle them head-on.
At Reliable, that’s what we’re here to help with. Get in touch to find out more about how we’re helping small businesses thrive by embracing new technologies and prioritising digital security.