Cyber Security and Personal Devices: 4 Areas to Watch for Your Business
Undoubtedly, connected devices – devices held by individuals and connected to the Internet for some form or function – make life more convenient. The number of connected devices continues to climb each year.
Yet, with that convenience comes risk. Connected personal devices are very vulnerable to cyber threats. Perhaps, more than standard Internet devices since they can be difficult for a business to maintain and control. Below are some of the risks a small business faces from connected devices and how to address them proactively.
- Lack of preparation
Companies from all over the world are taking advantage of the Internet of Things (IOT). However, the problem is that many companies aren’t taking the correct safety precautions to secure the connected devices that are either connected to their network or merely, just tied to the technology of the business in some way. There are hundreds of different devices from different companies that can be connected, but are all of these devices protected?
Understanding the risk such devices can possibly pose, is the first step to proper preparation. Only when you understand these risks and are prepared for them, can you ever hope to mitigate them.
- Unsecured personal devices
One of the biggest risks of connected personal devices is the fact that many are unsecured or not secured properly. Many companies use or allow BYOD (bring your own device) plans. Yet, these devices can pose a threat to sensitive company files.
Sure, adopting a BYOD plan or strategy can save the company a lot of money, but is it worth it? There is no way to know how secure personal cellphones, tablets, and PCs are. This is a huge threat to the company because if a hacker is successful in hacking a personal cellphone, they can easily gain access to company files in their mobile data.
- Data, data, and more data
IOT devices are capable of generating and storing an enormous amount of data, but sometimes too much of a good thing, is a bad thing. The data could be made up of anything from text messages to email marketing campaigns.
For a large company with thousands of employees, consider the amount of data that is generated in just a 24-hour period. Once so much data is created, that data must be protected. The amount of data isn’t the bad part, the lack of protection regarding that data is. It is difficult to be sure to protect every data point floating around and the more data points, the easier the access is to hackers.
- Outdated employee training
IOT and cyber-security must work together. That’s a major reason companies must take the time to properly educate and train their employees on cybersecurity and the risks connected devices pose. Proper training and education can be a key to helping keep a company safe.
Unfortunately, this is one area where companies are falling short—on bring this information to employees and keeping them up-to-date.
Such training should be offered and required frequently. The specific cyber threats change from year to year, month to month, and sometimes, day to day. Wise businesses – and business owners – must take it upon themselves to be sure every employee is informed of risks and best practices on a regular basis, even if it seems superfluous. For example, companies should mandate that employees using connected devices must update their devices and use smart password management.
The key takeaway is this… there is no slowing down the Internet of Things—or the prevalent use of connected devices in business and businesses. Thus, smart business owners must keep up or find themselves quickly left behind.