Experts estimate that by the year 2020 a whopping 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. We casually call this the “Internet of Things” (IoT), but are you really ready for the challenges that it will bring to your company’s network?
What Will Employees Connect?
We expect that employees will be connecting laptops, smartphones and tablets to the local network. IT departments have experience with the threats that these devices can bring to the network and are well-versed in how to deal with them. The question is, what items will the IoT bring to the table, and how will IT departments deal with them?
Having a policy of only connecting approved devices might be a good way to go at first. As smartphones have proven, that type of policy can only go so far. People get used to having the ability to use the technology they purchase. Devices that depend on connectivity to function properly will be rendered useless in such an environment. IT staff will scramble to test the latest “thing” to see what impact it will have. This can be an almost fruitless pursuit; by the time the device gets approved, the next one will be out on the market.
Can the IoT Transform Your Business?
Many companies are simply accepting the fact that the IoT is going to be walking through the door. Instead of trying to limit access, they are embracing it. Why bother purchasing a laptop for an employee when they would rather just use the one that they researched on their own? The same goes for tablets and smartphones.
IT departments can get ahead of the curve by leveraging the devices that employees bring to work. Wearable tech can be a great way for companies to incentivize healthy choices for their employees. Increased connectivity means more options for those who choose to leverage the technology. Instead of fighting it, embrace it and use it to the company’s advantage.
Don’t Forget Security
Instead of thinking of security as a barrier to what can and cannot come through the front door, think about ways to leverage security in other ways.
If you are concerned about access to critical data, consider a solution like segmenting your network. Keep critical systems on one segment while creating a second segment just for IoT devices. This can help to limit any inadvertent damage that a device does and can help to protect vital systems and information from hackers.
U.S. Computer Connection Can Help with Managed Services
Looking for assistance in how to set up and deal with all of the new devices that might be walking through your door? U.S. Computer Connection can help!