Untangling the opportunities of IoT from its risks

Out of any organization’s SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – is an assessment of how to:

  • Use strengths and overcome weaknesses to take advantage of opportunities, and
  • Minimize weaknesses and use strengths to avoid threats.

We are at a time when, in just a few short years, organizations and individuals will utilize tens of billions of IoT devices to gather and apply data in extraordinary ways; we are already applying data in ways that seemed unimaginable a decade ago.

This presents us with amazing opportunities that don’t just grow a business, but also target it to the people who need and demand it the most. IoT presents organization leaders with greater abilities to empower, and to advance, new services and products that not only create convenience, but create meaningful differences in individual lives.

It also presents us with unprecedented risks.

That’s the “good news, bad news” part: The opportunities are plentiful, but so are the risks.

Cybersecurity professionals, if they’re being honest, will tell you that the risks are unavoidable – if there’s a way to get data out, then there’s a way for vulnerabilities to get in. It’s true; at best, the preeminent software and technology available can only stay one step ahead of a determined cybercriminal ne’er-do-well.

And your legal team may quiver uncontrollably at your next data-use proposal.

So how do you balance the promises and pitfalls of IoT?

It’s important to not look at any one element of IoT – not in the opportunities, nor in the risks – in a vacuum. Effective, secure and legal management of the Internet of Things requires a holistic approach. This approach requires a careful weighing of how to apply time and resources to information governance and standards, people management, technology, asset valuation and protection, and post-attack recovery.

Opportunity is intertwined with risk. Managing both prevents an entanglement that can cripple your organization.

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