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Does Your Business Need an IoT Policy?

Does Your Business Need an IoT Policy?

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, January 09 6:00

By now, businesses are well aware of the impact the Internet of Things (IoT) will have on information technology. While the IoT has so far mostly been more concept than reality, that will likely begin to change in 2017. Businesses across all industries will begin to deploy IoT solutions that help them better serve their customers.

As with any new technology, though, it s important to take measures to guard against security breaches that put those very customers at risk. Smart devices will connect to the same servers that house a business s critical data and applications, so one data breach could devastate a business. In fact, a data breach can cost an average of $4 million, with an estimated cost of $158 per leaked record. With so much at stake, it s no surprise that savvy IT departments are considering setting an IoT policy to keep their networks safe.

IoT Policies

Security policies are an essential part of operating an I.T. infrastructure. They often cover responsible internet use, helping reduce a company s liability for any risks an employee brings through setting weak passwords, clicking on questionable links, and visiting dangerous websites. When businesses add smart devices like temperature control and lighting to their environment, policies must be adjusted to include the new technology.

With a dedicated IoT policy in place, IT departments can set regulations on the purchase and deployment of any new smart technology. Most important among these policies is the stipulation that IT should approve and manage any new tech device purchase. This will help ensure that professionals with a high level of knowledge research the safety of each network-connected item. By having this type of policy in place, an IT team can create a long-term strategy for IoT adoption and make sure each new purchase falls within that plan.

IoT Products

Businesses will also face IoT challenges in the products they provide to customers or clients. Consumers have already seen IoT at work in their thermostats and home security systems but in the coming years, it will show up in many other places in their homes. Everything from toasters to lawn irrigation systems will feature internet connectivity. Not only will manufacturers need to come up with ways to build this into products, but they ll also need to make sure their own products can communicate with other popular consumer items.

As products make their way into consumer markets, though, security will especially be an issue. IoT security policies will help protect your products as they shift into customers hands. Any third-party manufacturers should have a solid IoT policy in place before making any products for a brand. This policy should outline the minimum security standards each product should have and the manufacturer s responsibility for ensuring products are safe. Securing customer data should be top priority for any internet-connected merchandise.

As businesses deal with evolving technology, it s important to expand security policies to cover any new challenges they face. By staying ahead of these issues and carefully planning in advance, IT leaders can avoid a catastrophic data breach and keep their customer and business information safe.

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