We are living in a connected world. Driven simultaneously by convenience and the desire for better business outcomes, we’re bringing devices and systems online at a breakneck pace. Objects and appliances that we previously would have never considered connecting to the Internet are now joining our smartphones, tablets, smart-watches, and smart glasses as part of an ever-expanding web.
This is the Internet of Things – and it’s simultaneously the best and worst thing that will ever happen to your business.
The best because it will let you transform in ways you never imagined. You’ll be able to understand your workers and customers better than ever before. You’ll be able to enhance your products, improve your organizational efficiency, and gain insights that can put you a world ahead of your competitors.
And worst, because…well, to be frank, IoT security is a horrific mess. There are no checks, balances, or controls in place to hold vendors accountable for releasing insecure devices or buggy firmware. In other words, if you’re going to use IoT devices (and you eventually will), the onus falls on you to keep them secure – at least for now.
That means you’re also going to need to factor them into your disaster recovery and business continuity plans. To do so, you’re going to need a few things, first.
A Different Security Mindset:
“The truth is, we’ve had a binary view of the world that no longer exists,” explains Gartner VP Neil Macdonald. “We need security that is adaptive everywhere – to embrace the opportunity and manage the risks – that come with this new, digital world, delivering security that moves at the speed of digital business.”
Okay, so what does that mean in plain English?
Basically, that you need to augment traditional preventative and reactive security with a new kind of methodology – adaptive security. Look at cyberattacks not as isolated incidents but part of a constantly shifting, evolving threat that your business faces on a daily basis. Constantly plan for how you’re going to protect your business from the next cyberattack, and build your systems with redundancy and adaptability in mind.
A Focus On The Flow Of Data:
As noted by Forbes Magazine, it isn’t just stored data and applications your business will need to account for where IoT continuity is concerned. You’ll also need to account for the supply of data – on ensuring the continuity of critical resources. You’ll need contingencies for when a network monitoring device goes offline, for example, and a plan for a sensor being stolen or compromised by a criminal.
In short, your business continuity plan needs to treat IoT devices as unique from the rest of your infrastructure.
Cloud Disaster Recovery:
Chances are pretty high that unless you’re running a major organization that owns and operates its own data centers, you don’t have the infrastructure to support an entire network of IoT sensors and devices if that network is brought down by an attack. You need a cloud resiliency service – an Infrastructure-as-a-Service disaster recovery plan that will allow you to quickly spin up as many virtual devices as necessary to keep your networks running while you sort out whatever emergency is facing your organization.
A New Kind Of Continuity:
The Internet of Things isn’t going away anytime soon. If you haven’t already started learning to adapt to it, you need to do so, incorporating IoT devices into everything from your business continuity plans to your security processes. The alternative is being left behind while your competitors do exactly that.