Your business heavily relies on technology to run smoothly and efficiently. Computer and smartphones are no longer enough to run a successful business with the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more and more popular. However, you need to think about how all of your technology works together and how that affects your business security. If you’re getting ready to integrate your office technology, here are a few aspects to consider:
Understand IoT Security
You would never leave your computer at risk of being hacked or stolen, which is why you use antivirus software, strong passwords and secure websites. With the IoT, all of your devices should be treated like your computer — because they are. Whether you have a smart thermostat or a smart TV in your work space, every item should be secured because they are working together. However, the unfortunate reality is that just under half of companies secure their IoT products from the beginning, reports Capgemini. Don’t make this potentially catastrophic mistake. If you plan on integrating IoT with business software systems, every device needs to be secured from beginning to end.
Devise an IoT Plan
Technology is changing rapidly and the IoT is still relatively new. Before you start buying computers, laptops, smartphones, thermostats, TVs, security cameras and all the other connected devices for your office, you need to come up with a plan for your technology. You don’t want to buy the hottest product now, just for it to become irrelevant in a year. Even more importantly, you need to ensure that every device you purchase can be secured in your network.
Consult IT experts and the heads of every department on what tools and devices they need to connect together do their jobs efficiently. For example, your sales and marketing teams may need remote monitoring tools and digital dashboards to check the performance of their IoT devices deployed on the field. On their side, your technical team may need to easily check the configuration, software files and apps installed on a remote device, all this through standard business tools and interfaces. Determine what types of IoT software systems your company needs to function now and in the future.
Purchase Products That Work Together
Once you’ve decided what types of software systems your organization needs to work with IoT devices, it’s time to start looking for specific products. Just like you wouldn’t buy a PC desktop computer and an Apple laptop to work together, you need to make sure your IoT products and business systems can operate together without a lot of hassle. For example, if you’re looking for a voice communication channel to support your sales operations, a product like 8×8 VoIP phones can integrate their virtual phone system seamlessly with your Salesforce CRM tool. Similarly, if you use Nest thermostat to control the temperature of your office, you should use a virtual assistant like Google Home that works well with it. The better products work together, the more secure your work space will be, because you don’t have to develop different protocols for every single device.
There’s a lot to know when it comes to the IoT, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow the same protocols you already use for your technology devices, such as using encryption, antivirus software and strong passwords. The better you plan out your technology use and buying plans for the future, the better your devices will work together and streamline your business processes. You don’t need to do anything extraordinary to keep your company secure, you simply need to use common sense in both your buying and security practices.