While some MSP Business people may believe the cloud and IoT have already outdated IT support, that’s more of a good theme for a science fiction novel. Keep in mind that there are plenty of examples in which elements of sci-fi literature have eventually come true. The reason this concept hasn’t come true yet is because IoT still presents a wide scale security disaster risk. That’s why a good balance of IoT and IT help is a more powerful solution.
Why IoT Is Vulnerable
The Internet of Things is a futuristic concept to begin with, yet it’s already here and big data grows each day. If someone were to ask anyone if the digitizing of every aspect of MSP business and culture were possible a few decades ago the common response might be “that’s crazy.” A similar response might go along with the question: would you believe that by 2020, the greatest threat to business will be its own technology getting outsmarted by cyber criminals?
All businesses are at risk to some degree, partly due to the unrestrained IoT craze, but also due to lack of regulation. The rise of the cloud has been a more solidly grounded foundation, as ironic as that sounds. The cloud offers many layers of protection, such as multiple backup servers and 24/7 monitoring. IoT, on the other hand, is like a genie being let out of a bottle without a clear understanding of all its consequences.
Last century, rock and roll was the new revolution with an unclear future threatening to shake up the establishment. This century mobile devices and apps are the new pop culture transforming businesses at a rapid pace. In the face of this brave new world is a challenge by a variety of hackers trying to take advantage of IoT’s major weaknesses. Some attackers use malware and ransomware to penetrate systems to steal confidential information, while others are just testing the limitations of network security and IT support.
New Wild West Warning
The 90s explosion of websites was often called “the wild west,” since it was an age of vast Internet experimentation and expansion. Then the dot-com crash calmed things down until broadband opened the door for modern e-commerce solutions. The cloud made it possible for startups to launch businesses with minimal budgets and then the mobile revolution opened many new doors to entrepreneurial innovation. Online shopping has become so widespread that it began to force many iconic retailers to start closing physical stores.
Like a new pharma drug rushed to market without proper testing, the benefits of IoT appear to be drowning out any concerns of its side effects. That’s why it’s up to MSP Business executive to play the dual role of security guard and doctor in this mad rush into a potential enslaved new world of viruses and deadly bug attacks. MSPs have become the last line of defense to wake businesses up from this invasion of cyber criminals. In 2016, security breaches increased at an alarming rate to invade the following high profile entities:
• U.S. Department of Justice
• Internal Revenue Service
• UC Berkeley
• University of Central Florida
• Premier Healthcare
Steps for MSPs to Balance IoT with IT
The most effective way to neutralize the out of control stampede toward the IoT danger zone is to counter it with strong security and IT expertise. Instead of putting faith completely in software to solve all problems, decision makers should consider a mix of smart humans and smart applications. Here are steps MSPs can take to help clients further advance this idea:
• Develop a sound backup data and recovery plan
• Test backups regularly to make sure recovery works
• Test software and hardware for defects
• Set policies on who has access to data
• Set policies on permitted devices and applications
• Identify roles and disaster recovery procedures
• Monitor data around the clock with security software
It’s unlikely that the clock will turn backward on the cloud, IoT, and mobile revolution. So MSP Business owners should accept that IoT and strong IT support go hand in hand for now. Until automation is able to handle all security issues, it’s important for humans and robots to work together.