Is Your Printer Opening Your Office to Hackers?

July 28, 2014 Meghan

IoT Risk

If you think that bugs, viruses and phishing schemes are bad, wait till the Internet of Things kicks into high gear. There has been a lot of talk as of late about the security risks surrounding the IoT, and for good reason – products connected to the Internet could open your door to cyber-terrorists.

But our homes aren’t the only thing at risk.

As originally reported by Forbes, businesses (like yours) will have had to make some significant shifts to the advent of new technologies and computing paradigms to ensure that data is safe if your company is to survive the Internet of Things.

In the last 10 years, IT departments have been faced with and overcome a number of security challenges – but the newest hurdle (the IoT) may be the toughest one of all to clear. Forget about networked printers and iPhones. What do you do when the coffee maker and refrigerator in the break room come equipped with hidden spambots and wifi access? Does that make you think twice about installing a Nest thermostat on your premises?Researchers have already hacked a building control system at Google’s Australia office.What happens when workers’ watches and glasses—even their suit coats and dress shoes–are connected to the Net? Though it’s still early, the Internet of Things is expected to be the greatest challenge facing organizations during the next decade. The good news is, we’re talking about it so there’s time to mitigate the risk.

The Risks of IoT at Work

There are many, but here’s a list of the most notable:

  • Privacy implications including, unlawful surveillance, active intrusion in private life and data profiling
  • Data compromise –“Expect [the Internet of Things] to challenge your conception of cyber security and your ability to deliver it in IoT-enabled digital networks, your commercial operations, and your partner ecosystems,” – Christopher J. Rezendes, president of INEX Advisors, a consultancyfocused on the Internet of Things

The challenges are big, but surmountable — only if IT and business managers start working together now to develop a plan. Your IT department will have to place a new priority on security, including:

  1. Applying existing systems engineering tools to security threats
  2. Training engineers to incorporate security into products by using modular hardware and software designs
  3. Using existing, open security standards where possible
  4. Encouraging a skeptical culture

When it comes to conquering the security risks of IoT, a healthy dose of skepticism will be key. If your company is to come out unscathed, youmust start paying closer attention to the different ways devices could be leveraged as a mode of attack. Though connected product companies like, Life360 and SmartThings are making strides to make or lives more secure, it’s still important that we are not only aware of any Internet-connected devices in the organization, but also examine how these devices work and interact with each other, especially in terms of data transport.

Source: Forbes

Join us in Whistler this summer, August 20-22nd when we talk more about how our lives could be hacked, and the things that we can do to stop it.

Also, don’t miss it when Chris Hulls of Life360, Jeff Hagins of SmartThings and Rafe Needleman of Yahoo tech News discuss connected homes, and the things startups can do to leverage new platforms to expand their markets.

Tickets are available now.

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