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Grow Your Business Security

Internet of Things Is a Security Nightmare for Businesses

image for The Internet of Things is keeping IT professionals up at night. / Credit: Worried IT image via  Shutterstock
The Internet of Things is keeping IT professionals up at night. / Credit: Worried IT image via Shutterstock

While the Internet of Things has garnered much excitement in the consumer tech world, it's starting to scare many IT professionals, a new study finds.

Growing security threats, greater device management challenges and increased costs for IT management are all concerns small business IT professionals have as https://www.businessnewsdaily.com (IoT) devices – which allows  physical objects to communicate with each other -- become more prominent in the workplace, according to the study, released by GFI Software, an IT solutions provider for small and medium sized businesses.

Overall, 96 percent of the IT decision makers surveyed said they expect that the IoT will have some negative impacts on their organizations. Specifically, more than half believe it will impose new security threats while extending existing threats to a greater number of devices, while 30 percent think greater IoT use in the workplace will result in increased IT spending.

Additionally, more than a quarter of those surveyed said they expect device management to spiral out of control as a result of the IoT, with 14 percent saying that deploying patches across multiple platforms will present a particularly difficult challenge.

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Sergio Galindo, general manager of the infrastructure business unit at GFI Software, said the study reveals that IoT will transform business security, as even standard employee devices could present an opportunity for exploitation and pose a real danger to organizations if they are connected to the Internet without proper security protections in place.

"With billions of devices poised to connect to the Internet, organizations are exposed to billions of insecure new end points that can compromise the network," Galindo said. "The key takeaway is clear: IT organizations must plan effectively to ensure adequate operating system, firmware and patch support within the new IoT age."

Analysts expect the number of Internet-connected devices to grow radically by 2020: Research by technology research firm Gartner found that 26 billion addressable devices will find a home on corporate networks within the next six years.

The GFI Software study was based on surveys of 202 IT decision makers in U.S. workplaces employing up to 250 people.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily and business.com, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.