The Internet-of-Things or “IoT”.  Have you heard of it?  Even if you have not, I’m sure you experience the IoT daily, it’s almost impossible to avoid.  The IoT refers to the increased connectivity of everyday household and office items.  Things like thermostats, TVs and lightbulbs are all now utilizing internet connectivity to enhance the consumer experience.  The IoT also refers to devices like “Alexa” or “Siri”, convenience devises that are rapidly gaining a foothold into more and more personal, business and individual data.

But what does all this increased connectivity mean for individual consumers and small to mid-size businesses alike?  You guessed it, MAJOR cyber-security concerns. Shocking, I know!  But when these devices are connecting to your home or business network you’re leaving entry points to hackers that contain minimal to sometimes zero security built in.  These weak entry points can then be used as a beachhead to take over your other network and strong-arm access to your personal information and financial records.

Another major security concern: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.  A DDoS attack happens when a hacker who controls thousands of devices and directs them all to connect over the Internet to 1 company’s network simultaneously.  This type of attack overwhelms the target network sending it offline and unavailable to users.

In the interest of keeping the tin foil hats in the drawer today, I won’t delve too far into the government espionage and spying that these devices enable, but do understand Alexa is always listening (and maybe your T.V but you didn’t hear that from me!)

So what does this mean?  Should we all move into the woods and become hermits?  Of course not.  From an individual user perspective, you must look at the pros and cons of all these devices and decide where you’re comfortable resigning some privacy for the sake of convenience and then take cautionary steps along the way, STOP BANKING FROM YOUR MOBILE PHONE for starters!  But as a business owner with much more at stake, you need a trusted expert to handle these matters for you.  A cyber security firm who can objectively look at your technology purchases and properly lock down your network (and therefore all your assets) and protect you from swarms of hackers that are attempting to gain access 24/7 365.

To learn more about how NST can be your trusted partners, call me at 203-363-0011 x 107.
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