The Internet Of Things In The Workplace
The Internet of Things has been a phenomenon over the last few years, especially for businesses. The IoT can come in many different forms such as thermostats, light bulbs, internet connected cars, TVs, alarm systems, door locks, cameras, printers, security systems, watches, fitness clothing and even baby changing mats! The list is endless. The technology used to create IoT products can hold some tricky barriers, the key is to know how to get past these so smart objects can reach their full potential in helping to create a more efficient and intelligent workplace.
The Top IoT Adopter
According to The IoT Research report carried out by BI Intelligence the three entities that will be using IoT ecosystems are Businesses, Governments and Consumers. With businesses being the top adopter, the report projects that by 2020 11.2 billion devices will be installed across the world helping improve businesses’ bottom lines- the operation costs will be lower, productivity will be increased and organisations will be able to expand into new markets.
Following on from our blog on cyber security the top three barriers that businesses must then consider after installation of IoT devices are:
- Security concerns
- Privacy concerns
- Implementation problems
Are cyber criminals going to be able to hack into a business’s system through an IoT device network? Are your personal details going to be stolen? Are certain IoT objects in the workplace going to operate as desired?
BI Intelligence estimate a whopping $6 trillion is to be spent on IoT investment up to 2020, however, from the trillions to be spent over the next few years it seems little of that will be invested in security whereas application development, device hardware and system integration will be the most invested in. This may cause concerns for businesses wishing to create a smart office environment as security is of key importance for sensitive data. The least invested in area will be connectivity, again which may cause concerns for businesses trying to implement IoT devices into their offices, if things do not connect well or function to a high standard will it not only cause more problems?
Actions Being Taken
There are actions and new technologies being created to help drive through these barriers and ensure the growth of IoT continues. Antivirus suppliers are being looked to in order to help solve security issues and to ensure IoT devices are protected and can be trusted in the workplace.
In a survey conducted by the security firm BullGuard, 72% of the 6,000 polled said that despite the fast adoption to the IoT they admit they do not know how to secure their devices; this needn’t be a concern as there are actions businesses can take to ensure they will not be hit by IoT barriers.
CEO Paul Lipman of Bullguard has given some simple, practical tips of actions to take out for ensuring IoT device security:
- Ensure device software is up to date- this will help with any implementation problems, if all software for both old and new devices are up to date they should be able to function well with each other
- Ensure devices being used are security patched
- Passwords on routers and IoT devices are changed regularly and are only known on a need-to-know basis.
- Ensure router security settings and software is up to date
- Enable encrypted communications wherever possible
There may be barriers to IoT but there are many easy actions to make devices less vulnerable and to guarantee that the workplace is booming with efficient smart tech.
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