The dark side of IoT: What all businesses should think about
This year at CES, many companies showcased consumer products connected to the internet, and while Internet of Things (IoT) devices can make everything from thermostats to ovens to bike handlebars smarter and easier to use, you should consider what data is being collected by these devices, where it’s going, and how it’s being used.
Recently, Ryan Barrett, Intermedia VP of Security & Privacy, wrote an article for Dark Reading that discusses the privacy issues that businesses need to be aware of with IoT. Given the news stories of devices like baby monitors being hacked, businesses need to think about how IoT devices are being used in their business and what kind of data is being collected. Ryan provides an example of a coffee shop:
“The owners of the corner coffee shop are purchasing home-security-grade devices to better monitor and protect their business. Almost instantly, the system is connected to their Wi-Fi network. But the business owners aren’t thinking about the potential ramifications should they lose control over that device, if it isn’t secure. If the device is hacked, cybercriminals can monitor customer traffic and flow, and even zoom in on credit card numbers if the camera is near the cash register.”
Does the increased convenience of a given IoT device outweigh the risk of losing control of it? Does it outweigh the risk of having the data being collected by the device exposed? Is there a way to secure the device with multi-factor authentication and strong passphrases?
Ryan recommends asking all these questions and more when considering the value of IoT devices to your business, or your home…because the same issues apply to devices aimed at consumers. Don’t ban IoT from your life, just be cautious.