Everything in this world could be represented by a coin, having a good side and a bad side. And the Internet of Things (IoT) is no different. On one side, life is easier when all our appliances and devices are connected to each other and talking to one another. Conversely, it puts your data at a higher risk of being exploited. This duality could pose a real issue for your business. So is business IoT black, white, or gray?
Heads: Business IoT for the Win
Integrating IoT into your business could prove profitable in the long run.
Business IoT devices are already affecting business profits. Maintenance costs can be reduced when IoT devices and sensors maintain business equipment at peak performance. Office equipment on-the-fly troubleshooting detects issues before they impact staff and employees, avoiding the inconvenience and expense of significant repairs. One advantage IoT brings to your operations and maintenance workflow is the reduction of expensive extended repair downtime.
Efficiency and Productivity
Efficiency is the foundation for increased productivity, increasing businesses revenue. Utilizing business IoT to reduce repetitive or time-consuming tasks is one way to go about it. In addition, these IoT tools improve productivity by enhancing internal and external office communication. IoT can also streamline management processes and improve workflow by utilizing resources like WiFi, copiers, and printers and optimizing office layouts. Last but not least, using big data analytics through IoT can give you an overview of employee productivity and show you which tasks are helping your business function better and which are harming it.
In terms of a comprehensive business strategy, business IoT is a game-changer. Smart utility grids, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics make it simple for SMBs to gather the valuable data they need to offer their customers the desired value. Due to IoT’s ability to connect products and services related to customer behaviors, more businesses are providing new or updated products and services to a more extensive customer base.
Due to today’s business IoT, omnichannel strategies have wholly altered how customers view their relationships with companies. Organizations are prioritizing front-end customer engagement as they try to connect with their audiences more effectively, frequently using IoT devices. The modern consumer expects to communicate with businesses via phone, whether through a dependable mobile website, an automated chatbot, or a dedicated app.
Tails: Better Luck Next Time
Security and privacy
IoT devices are evolving and becoming more widely used, making it challenging to keep the data they collect and transmit secure. Despite being a top priority, IoT devices aren’t always included in the strategy despite cybersecurity. Devices must be secured against physical tampering, network-based attacks, software attacks on the internet, and hardware attacks. Another issue is data privacy, particularly given that IoT devices are being used in more delicate sectors like healthcare and finance. Global information privacy laws are also becoming effective, so protecting data is not only prudent from a business standpoint but is also required by law.
Although it may appear that business IoT devices are doing straightforward tasks, like counting swipes at a secure door, they involve a lot of intricate technology. Additionally, if they are supplying crucial data to another workflow or system, they may harm all of its associated processes. Miscounting the number of clock in is not a big deal, but it can be disastrous if another device mixes up temperature information with entry swipe information. And fixing the error isn’t always straightforward.
Connectivity and power dependence
The internet and constant power are required for many devices to operate properly. The device and anything connected to it cease to function when either fails. IoT devices are so ingrained in today’s businesses that everything can come to a screeching halt when one goes down. Because outages will occur at some point, companies must understand how outages will affect their devices and prepare ahead of time. Ensuring staff members know what to do in case of a device failure and troubleshooting and incident management procedures can help alleviate this.
Through the Cyber Security Lens
Cybersecurity poses a serious concern to all businesses as more operations and data are moved online. This cybersecurity threat has several new components thanks to the company IoT. Any new device that connects to the internet could serve as a point of entry for hackers. The attack surface of your private networks grows as more of the things your company uses daily go online. Your speakers, doorbells, and thermostats are now potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks in addition to your phones and laptops. On a larger scale, the IoT’s rapid development suggests an ever-growing network of vulnerable devices.
What Can I Do About It?
If you are unsure how to modernize and digitalize your organization, hiring someone who does is the best course of action. You know what they say: better safe than sorry. Nevertheless, here are the basics of cyber security for your business.
- Your Vulnerabilities: Your IT team must know the organization’s attack surface and find any remote and local end-point device vulnerabilities.
- Proper Password Management: Your company needs to enforce the use of strong passwords throughout the entire workforce. Look into Single sign-on (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
- Existing Frameworks and Technology: Businesses should take inspiration from current regulations and standards when creating a thorough IoT cybersecurity strategy. Look into the IoT cybersecurity program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- IoT Systems Compartmentalization: It’s vital to have effective containment measures in place to limit the impact of a successful cyber-attack on your business. Look into loosely-coupled IoT systems so that if one device is compromised, it won’t necessarily spread to all business operations.
Business IoT made companies run smoother and more efficiently than ever. However, the more technologically advanced it became, the more it has created a gap between the current cybersecurity measures and the updates required to keep it secured. And now, with quantum computing, cybersecurity needs to start upping its game.
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