The Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed the way we live, adding multiple layers of connectivity and artificial intelligence to everyday devices. From smart thermostats that optimize energy use to wearable fitness trackers that monitor our health, IoT devices have become ubiquitous.
What does this mean in the business world – your world – where your team strives to make a positive impact in whatever industry you serve? Does the Internet of Things make cybersecurity more difficult?
Well, that’s a loaded question. One that’s answered quite clearly with help from business cybersecurity experts – like us!
The Internet of Things and Business Cybersecurity. What You Need To Know
This rapid proliferation of connected devices certainly validates the question. As you know, business cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. You simply can’t leave it to chance. Here we’ll explore the intersection of IoT and cybersecurity, the unique challenges it presents, and how individuals and organizations can navigate this complex landscape.
The IoT Landscape
To understand the impact of IoT on cybersecurity, we first need to grasp the sheer scale of the IoT landscape. These technologies have grown beyond shaping the way we do business – in recent years, in this decade and beyond.
IoT refers to the network of interconnected devices that collect and exchange data over the internet. These devices span various sectors, including smart homes, healthcare, industrial automation and more. The promise of IoT lies in its ability to enhance convenience, efficiency and rapid decision-making in the ever-evolving digital world. However, this interwoven, infinitely connected ecosystem also introduces new cybersecurity considerations.
Internet of Things devices worldwide are projected to almost double from a shade over 15 billion in 2020 to nearly 30 billion IoT devices in 2030. IoT is utilized in numerous industry verticals and consumer markets. The consumer segment accounted for around 60 percent of all IoT-connected devices. That trend will likely continue – if not expand – over the decade.
The Intersection of IoT & Cybersecurity for Business
This increasing prevalence of IoT devices has expanded the attack surface for cyber threats. IoT devices – from smart refrigerators to industrial sensors, without expert guidance and oversight – often lack robust security measures. This makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks, creating a complex challenge for business executives like yourself.
Now, that’s not to say it’s a terrible risk pursuing an Internet of Things-based framework for your business. It opens the conversation, rather, to doing the right things for your business to coordinate IoT and cybersecurity effectively.
One of the primary issues is the vast number of IoT devices. With billions of connected devices worldwide, it becomes challenging to monitor and secure each one effectively. Moreover, the diverse ecosystems within IoT — different manufacturers, platforms and protocols — make standardizing security practices a daunting task.
Common IoT Security Risks
Connected devices create a ripe environment for security risks. (It’s like that without the Internet of Things, mind you.) We’ve all heard the horror stories of baby monitors being hacked, and criminals even accessing thermostats and security cameras.
Other potential risks include data breaches, unauthorized access to devices, and manipulation of IoT devices for malicious purposes. For instance, a compromised smart camera can be used for surveillance, and a hacked medical device can endanger patient safety. Such incidents not only harm individuals but also erode trust in IoT technology.
Acme Business is here to ensure that IS NOT a reality for your business or organization.
Key Challenges in IoT Cybersecurity
Several factors contribute to the complexity of securing IoT devices:
- Lack of Standardized Security Protocols: Unlike well-established cybersecurity standards for computers and networks, IoT devices often lack consistent security protocols without expert management.
- Updates & Patch Management: IoT devices may not receive regular security updates and/or patches, leaving vulnerabilities unaddressed without expert management.
- The Human Factor: Users may be unaware of the security risks associated with IoT devices or may neglect to change default passwords without expert management.
- Privacy Concerns: The collection of vast amounts of data by IoT devices raises privacy concerns, especially when data is mishandled or accessed without consent without expert management.
Do you see the common theme? These are all cybersecurity concerns that can be addressed only with expert management.
Strategies for Securing IoT
Securing IoT devices for business cybersecurity requires a proactive approach:
- Regular Updates: Keep IoT devices up to date with the latest firmware and security patches.
- Authentication & Encryption: Implement strong authentication and encryption mechanisms to protect data in transit and at rest.
- User Education: Raise awareness among users about IoT security best practices.
- Network Monitoring: Continuously monitor network traffic for unusual activities that may indicate a security breach.
The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed rules that would require clearer labeling about the cybersecurity measures that IoT devices use.
“To provide consumers with the peace of mind that the technology being brought into their homes is reasonably secure, and to help guard against risks to communications, the Commission proposes a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program that would provide easily understood, accessible information to consumers on the relative security of an IoT device or product, and assure consumers that manufacturers of devices bearing the Commission’s IoT cybersecurity label adhere to widely accepted cybersecurity standards. In this regard, the Commission’s cybersecurity labeling program would help consumers compare IoT devices and make informed purchasing decisions, drive consumers toward purchasing devices with greater security, incentivize manufacturers to meet higher cybersecurity standards to meet market demand, and encourage retailers to market secure devices.”
The Future of the Internet of Things for Your Business Cybersecurity
The future of IoT for business cybersecurity is a dynamic landscape. Emerging trends include the development of industry-specific security standards and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and respond to threats. Regulatory bodies are also beginning to address IoT security concerns, which may lead to more stringent requirements.
In the age of IoT, where everyday objects are becoming smarter and more connected, business cybersecurity takes on new significance. The Internet of Things does introduce complexity to cybersecurity, but it’s a challenge we must address. By understanding the risks, adopting best practices, and staying informed about evolving threats and solutions, we can harness the power of IoT while keeping our data and devices secure.
Call Acme Business at (716) 372-1325 and let’s pave the way for a fortified digital future together. We partner with POWERFUL cybersecurity software providers like SentinelOne. Connect with us on LinkedIn for frequent updates on industry trends and to explore tailored solutions that match your unique cybersecurity requirements.