IoT presenting new data security challenges

IoT presenting new data security challenges

The nature of data security has become increasingly complex over the course of the last few years, presenting more sophisticated challenges for IT departments, no matter the industry they happen to be working in.

There was once a time when the data centre was the main concern for organisations in the digital age.

To a certain extent this is still the case, but the arrival of mobile working trends has added depth to the digital landscape, with trends such as bring your own device (BYOD) proving popular with workforces across the country, leaving IT departments having to accommodate various, often unfamiliar devices within their infrastructure.

While many firms and subsequent IT professionals may have finally got used to dealing with hardware such as smartphones and tablets, there is another potential game-changer in the form of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Effectively, IoT introduces the concept of functioning devices that do not require human operation, separating it from trends such as BYOD.

The use of IoT in the workplace brings with it a number of benefits, with automated inventory and climate control touted as the two most popular, but the issue of security is still one that threatens to keep many IT heads up at night.

IoT and BYOD share similar concerns, the nature of the former means it has the unfortunate ability to magnify potential security woes.

According to a recent assessment by the InfoSec Institute, the most pressing concerns include breaches of privacy, including unlawful surveillance, intrusion on the private lives of employees, and data profiling.

Yet the biggest concern for business remains that of data security.

According to research firm Gartner, one of the main issues is the fact that many IoT devices are owned by third parties, meaning the control, risk assessment and mitigation is largely left outside the boundaries of many enterprises, bring about a new set of vulnerabilities.

Gartner states that data centre manages need to ensure that security is integrated within an IoT infrastructure and should partner with industry device and platform manufacturers in order to help them succeed.