Connectivity is changing all areas of life. Every day, your employees interact with smartphones, tablets, wearables and smart home devices, and they’re just as comfortable using this technology for work as they are for leisure.
The growing presence of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the workplace presents unique challenges to modern enterprises. As employees increasingly make use of personal devices for business tasks, more companies find themselves handling a diverse collection of endpoints and dealing with unique security concerns.
What is the Enterprise of Things or EoT?
The use of IoT has already transformed the workplace. More businesses are using apps to improve processes, productivity and practices, and 20 percent report seeing a competitive advantage from the use of such apps. It is estimated that 70 percent of enterprise software interactions will take place on mobile devices by 2020, making it imperative for companies to embrace this new way of working.
Traditional office structures are breaking down as IoT technology takes hold. Forty-five percent of companies with more than 10,000 employees provide workers with mobile apps, and 91 percent of corporate employees use at least one mobile app on the job. Every new device represents another endpoint for IT teams to monitor and manage in addition to numerous devices also being used outside the workplace.
Modern employees prefer to work where they feel most comfortable but moving out of the office can pose security risks that IT may be unable to handle as more devices enter the enterprise environment.
The changes are so extensive, this interconnected network is now being called the Enterprise of Things or EOT.
Why Businesses Should Adapt
EoT will only grow as time goes on. Only about 0.06 percent of all devices with the potential for IoT connectivity are utilizing smart technologies, leaving room for a great deal of expansion. The wearables market is expected to grow 139 percent by 2019, and it’s reasonable to assume other devices will follow suit.
Digital Transformation: Is Your Company Ready?
Is your company prepared for the shift to a collection of diverse devices and the way new technologies will impact both workflows and security? With technology being integrated “into all areas of business,” more enterprises are embracing the concept of digital transformation.
Digital transformation involves the use of digital technologies to “remake a process to become more efficient or effective.” The $1.3 trillion spent on digital transformation technology worldwide in 2017 shows the importance many companies place on integrating modern digital solutions.
Starting the ongoing journey to EoT adoption puts your business ahead of the competition
Starting the ongoing journey to EoT adoption puts your business ahead of the competition by allowing you to:
- Improve employee collaboration
- Simplify communication with suppliers
- Easily manage business assets and resources using real-time analytics and reporting
- Streamline workflows
- Save money with hotdesking and mobile work policies
- Attract top talent looking for flexible workplaces
EoT Concerns: Security and Legacy
All technological initiatives carry risks in addition to benefits, and the biggest risk with EoT is the potential for an ever-increasing number of endpoints in your network. By 2020, employees will bring an estimated 7.3 billion connected devices into workplaces, and companies without proper security are likely to become hot targets for hackers.
Upgrading legacy systems within your enterprise and implementing cloud-based management tools allows you to take advantage of the benefits of EoT with minimal risk. Companies failing to make the switch face drops in productivity and may become overwhelmed by competitors already on the road to digital transformation.
How to Manage and Secure the Enterprise of Things
As more companies realize the potential consequences of clinging to legacy systems and failing to make the shift to a digital work environment, adoption rates are likely to increase across industries. This requires smart security practices to ensure IT departments can monitor and manage every device accessing individual enterprise networks.
If a single device is compromised, it puts the entire network at risk, but the potential for a breach shouldn’t put you in a panic. Too many companies take a reactive approach, building piecemeal security policies to cover devices as employees bring new tech on board.
Proper planning is essential for maintaining a secure network, and it begins with knowing the best protocol to manage the way devices are used within your organization.
Best Practices in EoT Security
Whether you choose BYOD or COPE as your ownership model, these security practices help protect your data from compromise by hackers seeking network access:
- Utilizing tools to manage every endpoint
- Continual monitoring and analysis of what employee IoT devices gather
- Building security protocols into all IT plans and procedures
- Creating a blueprint for ongoing adaptation and expansion
Businesses seeking the right EoT management platform can look to BlackBerry for a scalable solution. The company’s cloud-based unified endpoint management (UEM) system can be integrated with existing IT administrative platforms and used to bring legacy systems into the modern digital framework. With management tools for a variety of devices, BlackBerry’s UEM is built for businesses requiring robust solutions to EoT security. Visit our BlackBerry page to learn more about their endpoint management solutions.
With the right UEM tools in place, your company can adopt a digital transformation strategy and support the shift to EoT without concerns over security loopholes or accidental data compromise. UEM puts all you need to secure corporate data and manage employee device use right at your fingertips so that you can move into the future and realize your vision for a more productive connected enterprise.
To learn more about the world of IoT and how it’s impacting security, check out of previous blogs:
In our rapidly evolving digital environment, cyber crime is rapidly outstripping other kinds of physical crime. The recent 2018 annual security survey from PwC.com highlighted the business vulnerabilities of living [...]
The sudden proliferation of "smart" devices has opened up endless avenues for hackers to invade our privacy. The internet of things, or IoT, may be simultaneously making our lives [...]