News Feature | February 26, 2015

How To Prepare Your IT Clients For The Impact Of The IoT

By Ally Kutz, contributing writer

Internet Of Things

An IT strategy is key in preparing for the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), says a new report from Spiceworks, “The Devices are Coming! How the Internet of Things will affect IT … and why resistance is futile.” According to the report, Gartner forecasts by 2020 the IoT will grow to more than 26 billion devices. For IT solutions providers, this growth means it’s time to strengthen infrastructure and safeguard your customers against new threats.

The report points out, the growth of the IoT is coming, but the IoT is already here. Of the 440 IT professionals surveyed, 58 percent reported video equipment including security cameras linked to their networks. 43 percent report electronic peripherals (projectors), 35 percent report sensors (badge or RFID readers), 31 percent report physical security (locks and gates), and 29 percent report controllers (thermostats and lighting).

The survey found most IT professionals believe the IoT trend will “pose significant security and privacy issues.” With the IoT increasingly generating more data, using more bandwidth, and increasing the potential entrances for cybercriminals, 43 percent plan to keep Internet-enabled things to a separate network, with only 23 percent allowing them on the corporate network.

Articles for Business Solutions support these concerns. Debbie Simurda with Mainstreet Inc., points out this “As retailers connect more in-store devices to the Internet as well as in-store POS systems, their corporate networks can become more vulnerable. Retailers will need to use the same diligence protecting these devices as they currently do with their other networks to safeguard sensitive consumer data against breaches.”

Product support engineer Kumudha with Vembu Technologies adds, “Privacy is a key concern while building systems for IoT. Considering the various security breaches happening, the system must provide personalized preferences and access control over flow of data in the network to the user, thereby securing sensitive data like account details from external attacks.

The top ways companies are preparing for the IoT are investing in infrastructure (68 percent), investing in security solutions (63 percent), expanding bandwidth (55 percent), investing in applications (42 percent), using hosted solutions (34 percent), and investing in analytics (22 percent). 

With a growing number of devices collecting more and more data, data storage is also something to consider related to the IoT. Of those surveyed, 67 percent currently store company data via on-site and IT-managed solutions, only 4 percent utilize cloud-based solutions and 29 percent use a hybrid solution. Of the 96 percent who use on-site or hybrid solutions, more than 40 percent will not consider moving network, security, servers, or storage off site.

For the complete report, click here.