The IoT provides a competitive edge for companies that embrace technology, but it introduces complex security needs.The Internet of Things (IoT) holds a lot of potential for companies that embrace the technology. Using small sensors to change any kind of item into a smart device, IoT is providing a new level of insight into every business process.

Launching a fleet of IoT devices introduces a lot of excitement for gaining a competitive edge. For instance, a company can lower costs by using sensors on devices that used to require human monitoring. It’s efficient, allows staff to focus on more complex tasks than monitoring devices, and allows for more precise measurement. The IoT offers opportunities for increasing revenue because it allows every segment of an enterprise to work smarter.

In the rush to capture the opportunities afforded by IoT technology, many companies are overlooking important security needs. The devices alone create additional security complexity, but there’s the added security concern of the sheer volume of data traveling to and from servers from the devices.

A comprehensive plan: The introduction of a set of IoT devices broadens the plane of required security coverage. Enterprises need to have plan that addresses not only the monitoring of devices, but also the data traveling to and from devices as well as cloud services and other areas the device interacts with.

The plan needs to include considerations for software applications, servers, firmware, application programming interfaces, and devices. It needs to address each of these items individually and as they integrate to work together.

“People concerns”: A comprehensive security plan must address the system, but it also requires attention to the people that will use the devices, analyze the data, and monitor the systems. Security breaches are often due to hackers, but there are also plenty of situations in which an employee simply loses a device or fails to follow password protocol.

People are always going to make mistakes, but companies can do more to prevent and reduce the number of problems with a strategy that includes cybersecurity training for the IoT landscape. Simply reviewing the appropriate steps to take if a device is left behind at a field location is a good way to prevent unnecessary security concerns.

Start with a risk assessment: A comprehensive assessment of risk is a good place to start for security planning. Coming up with a plan for how the enterprise will handle a breach is a good step, too, but much of the work with IoT security is in the prevention of such an event.

At SimpleWAN, we use a real-time cybersecurity protection system that monitors traffic across all of our firewalls, intelligently collecting, sharing, notifying, and preventing attacks. By leveraging analytics and automation we reduce IT security expenses. Contact SimpleWAN to learn more about how our security approach can service you in the IoT era.