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If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, or watched the news, you have may have heard about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it is changing technology now, and will change the future. But what is the IoT?

In short, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the growing network of devices capable of connecting to the Internet. This includes typical Internet-connected devices such as cell phones, laptops, and computers. But it also includes a wide range of other devices such as: smart watches, smart refrigerators, smart TVs, and other home devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices. You may have noticed a trend – if a device is labeled ‘smart’, it most likely can connect to the Internet, and is therefore a part of the Internet of Things.

What does the IoT mean for my business?

Most of the devices mentioned above can be found most commonly in homes. But the IoT extends into the business space as well. From computers, to company vehicles, to coffee machines, to weight room scales – almost anything can be connected to the Internet if desired. This can be both positive and negative.

Internet of things, wireless communication network, abstract image visual

Internet of things, wireless communication network, abstract image visual

The Internet of Things can make your workplace much more efficient. For example, did someone forget to set the alarm and lock the building? You can do both from an app on your phone. Are your children sick at home but you still need to make an important meeting? Remoting in on a Microsoft Teams call is participating in the Internet of Things.

Increased technology usage does improve your business, but it also brings its fair share of risk. Namely, it increases your cybersecurity risk.

Can the Internet of Things increase my risk of a cyber attack?

Like all good things, there are always bad people prepared to take advantage of the increased connectivity of things to the internet. In 2018, a casino was hacked because their fish tank thermometer was connected to their network and left unprotected by the vendor who installed it. Yes, you read that right, a fish tank thermometer caused a breach. This story showcases not only the importance of securing all your devices, but also auditing your third-party vendors and their security.

Having a Managed IT Services provider, like Stronghold Data, can help your business manage and protect your network and all the devices that may be connected to it.