The internet of things (IoT) is a term that has exploded in recent years. No longer is IoT a buzzword, but a way for businesses to excel and remain competitive. According to the IDC Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, IoT spending is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2020. Most of this spending is predicted to be in the manufacturing, transportation and utilities industries.

The rapid adoption of IoT devices and applications is making it possible for businesses to digitally transform, but there needs to be a clear understanding of the risks that these devices can pose. Here are four things your company should know about IoT.

  1. What is IoT? Is there an App for that?

IoT is the network of physical objects, such as devices, vehicles, buildings, etc., embedded with electronics, software sensors and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

The data that is collected by the connected devices is the reason that IoT is not going away anytime soon. This data allows daily tasks, business operations and even entire cities to run more efficiently. The value of IoT can range from turning on and off the lights from your phone to saving a life at a hospital.

  1. IoT isn’t a trend, it’s here to stay

Companies are deploying the IoT to boost revenue in every way from making simple tasks even easier, to predicting buying trends before they happen. In an article about leveraging customer data, Forbes discusses how Target made $1billion predicting pregnancies.

On the outside this may sounds impossible and even invasive, but Target collected data and noticed trends about when women would make prenatal vitamin purchases. From there, Target concluded the consumer was pregnant and would tastefully place ads for baby clothes, diapers, maternity clothes, etc. By leveraging customer data in a tasteful way, Target used the IoT to remain competitive.

As digital transformation takes priority for companies this year, IoT will be a major factor in its success. According to Vodafone’s 2018 IoT Barometer, 74 percent of companies agree that digital transformation is impossible without IoT

  1. IoT cyberattacks will leave your company vulnerable

While IoT may be essential to your business, it’s important to understand the vulnerability your IoT devices could bring. According to the Ponemon Institute and Shared Assessments, 97 percent of respondents believe that a security event related to an unsecure IoT device could be catastrophic to the organization, yet only 29 percent activity monitor for IoT related third-party risks.

All the possibilities that IoT and data collection brings, also comes major privacy concerns.

  1. Creating an IoT risk management plan is imperative

Cyber-attacks and breaches that involve stealing private and personal data is continually rising year after year, so it’s important companies are making risk management plans to combat attacks.

A privacy policy is only as strong as those who understand and enforce it. Training employees on the requirements of any IoT compliance policy from day one is a great way to prepare for any breaches.

Creating policies and an updated action plan that foresees potential risks surrounding data privacy breaches is a risk management plan that should be in place when using IoT devices and applications.

As your personal trusted advisor, LightEdge acts as an extension of your IT team, giving you access to leverage our depth of expertise in business technology solutions to meet your evolving IT needs. It’s our job to stay ahead of emerging technology trends to help keep our customers informed and protected. To learn more about LightEdge’s vigorous compliance measures, visit our website. To stay on the forefront of our up-to-date IT trend alerts and predictions, follow our blog at  https://www.lightedge.com/blog/.