The Internet of Things (IoT): possible risks to you & your business

What is the Internet of Things and how can it affect you and your business?

We live in an increasingly connected world. The internet has become ingrained into our daily life in more ways than we’re aware of. A buzz word in the news frequently these days, is the phenomenon known as “the internet of things, or IoT.” But what is IoT and how does it affect you?

TechTarget defines The internet of things, or IoT, as a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

In simple terms, IoT refers to the billions of devices worldwide that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data.

As Broadband Internet becomes more widely available, the cost of connecting decreases. Also, more and more devices are being made with Wi-Fi capabilities and with sensors inside them, technology costs are decreasing, and smartphone use and production is through the roof.

“BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, expects there will be more than 24 billion IoT devices on Earth by 2020. That’s approximately four devices for every human being on the planet.”

IoT has limitless possiblities. As an example, maybe you are heading to a business meeting, your car can access  the calendar on your phone and can calculate the best route to take. If there is an accident and the traffic is heavy, your car could even send a text to the other party you are meeting with, letting them know you’re running late.

The Threat of Increased IoT

Even though IoT opens up numerous opportunities, it also presents significant security challenges. As connected devices increase, cyber attacks are also a growing threat. Will a cyber criminal have the ability to hack into your car’s computer and gain access to your personal information?

For businesses the IoT could expose companies to additional security threats, including:

  • Issues of privacy and data sharing, where hackers could gain access to employees’ personal devices and expose sensitive client data or even company trade secrets.
  • Reputation damage, where cyber criminals could access company databases and send out faulty or discriminatory messages.
  • how to store, track and analyze the massive amounts of data produced by all of these devices communicating with eachother

What Action Should You Take?

With the rise of IoT, individuals and businesses need to take steps to ensure their information remains secure.

High Net Worth Individuals are at increased risk as they most likely have:

  • increased numbers of “smart” devices susceptible to attack
  • more assets at risk if a device is breached
  • ownership of a business that could be compromised

The best course of action is to educate yourself about,  what the IoT is and the potential impacts it could have on how we work and live. Investing in cyber liability protection for yourself as an individual, and a cyber liability insurance policy for your business is a great step toward protecting your investments in the event of a breach.

McSweeney & Ricci’s Private Client Group has access to premium insurance carriers (PURE, Chubb, and Cincinnati) and can provide enhanced cyber coverage, as well concierge-level service.

Sources: “A Simple Explanation of ‘the Internet of Things’ ” by Jacob Morgan “What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Meaning and Definition
by Andrew Meola 05/10/18
TechTarget/IoT Agenda “What is the Internet of Things? Definition”