Friend or Foe?
As more and more of the world is wired into the Internet, businesses and individuals are facing new questions about privacy, security and regulatory compliance. With the newest concept of “Internet of things”, or IoT, it is necessary to face the reality that everything connected to the web faces the potential for exposure. While the Internet is in many ways a business’ best friend, it can quickly become a foe.
Understanding the Business Risk
For business, the first step in Internet security is learning to understand the business risk or exposure of sensitive data. While most companies are using basic firewall and virus protections, the level of sophisticated attacks from blackhat operators require increasing diligence.
Instead of simply accepting that a smartphone or tablet is secure, it is important to remember that someone is always actively seeking to capture the data it contains and transmits. From wireless surveillance cameras to intelligent office copiers, the Internet provides access to anyone who sniffs out vulnerabilities in the network connecting them. It’s recommended to assess the various potential entry points hackers can find. For example, many corporations outsource functions to service providers (e.g., regular shredding services).
30 Billion Devices & Counting
A recent post on the Sophos website makes the increasing level of risk very clear. There is some sense in which the joke about not being paranoid if someone if really after you is now relevant to digital information. The Sophos article points out that as many as 30 billion devices are now connected in the IoT world. According to a recent Forbes article, thousands of cyber attacks are launched against small businesses daily, and the threat is increasing.
Shredding With Security in Mind
We spend a great deal of time at Sergeant Shredder educating our clients on the reality of this business risk. We pay particular attention to the proper handling of sensitive information and records. Our shredding technicians are former government and military personnel who are highly trained to handle sensitive materials (e.g. hard copies of paper and digital media) that require disposal techniques.
As you review your security protocols, remember that even old records stored on connected computers are subject to data breaches. Risks to your business can lurk in hard copy as well as electronic media.
How do you mitigate the business risk of IoT?