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What is the Internet of Things and Why You Should be Concerned.

July 23, 2020

No matter which sector you may be doing business in, the Internet of Things has undoubtedly caused a wide variety of changes in recent years. In particular, the IoT has resulted in an array of changes in terms of maintaining general network security for companies and organizations of all kinds. With that in mind, the following is a closer look at the changes that IoT has brought to the workplace as well as how it has affected network security, in general.

What is the Internet of Things?

Before we delve into the ways in which the IoT has affected network security, let’s first look at the meaning of the Internet of Things, and how it has changed the workplace in general. First of all, the Internet of Things is an umbrella term used to describe the massive network of “things” that are connected to the internet. In particular, the IoT refers to items that are connected and communicate with one another with the help of the internet. These devices range from everything from sensors to wearables, computers, tablets, smartphones, and much more. Ultimately, the IoT has created a much more connected world that allows various products and devices to communicate and collaborate, spanning an array of networking types.

How has it Changed the Workplace?

Now that we have a better understanding of the IoT, let’s look at some of the ways it has transformed the workplace, in general.

  • Manufacturing Tracking: The Internet of Things uses things such as smart sensors, that allow companies to track and uncover any issues that unfold during the manufacturing process. Particularly, if a certain part of a machine begins to malfunction, these censors notify you so that you can quickly repair it before it causes a major issue.
  • Supply Chain Improvement: Additionally, the Internet of Things has helped improve the supply chain. Using things such as smart tags and sensors, businesses are able to track and maintain full control of their inventory.
  • Cybersecurity: Although the widespread use of the IoT has created computer security concerns, it has also made it possible for companies to create a more stable network.
  • Remote Working: Additionally, given that essentially all remote work involves the use and connection of various devices via the internet, the IoT is one of the main things that is enabling the business sector to continue to thrive during these uncertain times.

How the IoT is Affecting Network Security in the Workplace

As mentioned, although the Internet of Things can help improve cybersecurity, paradoxically, its mere existence causes an increase in computer security threats in general. Either way, the IoT is affecting network security in the following ways:

  • Greater Cybersecurity Efforts: Additionally, the IoT has caused companies to upgrade their cybersecurity efforts. Its widespread use requires all connected companies to boost and upgrade their cybersecurity so it is sufficient enough to secure the use of this complex, massive network.
  • Data Democratization: One of the top ways that cybersecurity is affecting the workplace is with data democratization. In other words, the use of the IoT has made it possible for data to be more widely shared in a much shorter period of time. This leaves networks of all kinds open to vulnerabilities such as hacks, ransomware, and much more. Therefore, companies must create new risk management strategies, integrate new tools for network security evaluation, and more.
  • Data Power Struggles: Additionally, given that the IoT has enabled companies to track various devices in real-time, this has created some concerns and even a power struggle between companies and consumers. Although the data can obviously be useful for businesses, consumers have expressed privacy concerns, as well as a general argument over who should be able to access this information and why.
  • New Standards on the Horizon: Lastly, given that the Internet of Things creates a massive network of interconnected devices in which any company can be breached at any time. In the absence of global cybersecurity standards, businesses must cooperate in order to keep their networks as safe as possible. However, the only way to secure the IoT for the long-term is to create global cybersecurity standards that are mandatory for all parties involved.

Overall, the Internet of Things has created both issues and opportunities in terms of network security in the workplace. Although the future of the workplace is very much dependent on the IoT, its mere existence will require the world to reimagine how cybersecurity is handled.