By most accounts, the concept of the Internet of Things (or IoT for short) is being regarded in a positive light. After all, connecting our day to day activities with smart devices will likely make our lives easier, right? There is, however, at least one area for which the IoT will likely cause some issues, at least at first. That is, incident response. Let’s take a look at how the two will work together and how some of the inevitable challenges can be overcome.
The main reason why the IoT is poised to complicate the job of IT professionals everywhere is really quite simple: security. With increased connectivity and more widespread use of cloud technology comes increased risk of cyber-attacks. This is made even more challenging as organizations begin to adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. Then, not only will IT be responsible for making sure internal infrastructures are kept safe, but a host of external devices as well.
All this being said, there are certain adaptations that can be made to existing incident response plans that will account for the impact of the IoT:
Changing Regulations – Regardless of industry, there will be certain changes to regulations that will be designed to protect sensitive data from security risks. This is especially the case in fields such as health care, which is already heavily regulated by HIPAA. Incident response plans will need to be modified to remain in compliance with these changes in order to avoid being targeted and penalized.
Prioritization of Critical Systems – More widespread connectivity will mean a more enhanced prioritization of which systems are most critical to the organization. For instance, while one desktop or printer failing may not significantly impact operations, shutting down an entire infrastructure can be nothing short of devastating.
A Group Effort – Where incident response used to be solely the responsibility of IT personnel, the IoT may change this to some degree. Given the fact that so many additional devices will be present, IR will need to be more of a group effort, involving everyone from HR to legal. To that end, IT leaders will need to clearly define each department’s role, setting expectations and effectively communicating requirements.
The Right Tools – An evolving incident response strategy must be established upon a solid foundation of technology. Quality tools, like automation, can help streamline the process and provide the agility to adapt to the changing landscape of IT.
There’s no question that the IoT is poised to take the business world by storm. At the same time, security breaches are becoming more frequent and complex. To ensure ongoing protection, IT professionals must find a way to adapt their procedures to include the changes that are already happening as well as those that are certain to come in the not-so-distant future.
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