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Security in a New Age: The Internet of Things

online securityYou may be saying to yourself  “wow – another article referencing a ‘new age’ ?” Well, stay with me. There’s no denying how important security is for a business – just earlier this year, Tom Lydon talked about a security recipe essential for keeping your website safe. Our increasing connectivity (and number of users and potential vulnerabilities) highlights this: there will be over 8 billion people on the planet in 10 years, and 200 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. Technology is changing so quickly that we actually are approaching another new and exciting age, and one in which security will be just as important, if not more, than it is now.

As Tom details, there are several components of web security. Whether your web site code is compliant to high standards, your  database is up to date, your CMS is running the latest version, and your network is set up with tight permissions are just a few of the important areas that impact your site’s security.

The line between physical and digital is now starting to blur as the Internet of Things (IoT) unfolds, and mobile and “wearable” devices are being introduced, essentially creating a revolution in the tech world. Some refer to it as the “Smartification of Things”: just like our phones became “Smart” a few years ago, our TVs, watches, clothing, cars, and appliances are getting smarter too.

Objects that were once “dumb” are getting more and more tailored to our needs, like having your refrigerator sense its contents and sending you alerts when the items expire. IoT includes home automation, having your household objects communicate with each other in order to increase efficiency, like locking doors automatically or adjusting the temperature before you get home. D.C based start-up SmartThings is a great example of what future homes will look like, and they’re already on the horizon.

IoT also represents a monumental shift in the way we monitor our health with tons of connected devices like “wearables”. Take Apple HealthKit for example, which can receive health and wellness data from third party devices and apps to help track your health. Wearables open an entirely new avenue for data collection, with heart rate, activity and sleeping habits among the data points being collected. The way machines are produced will also be impacted, with the ability to “upgrade” your car through a “firmware” update without having to bring it to the garage. Needless to say, there are number of privacy and security concerns that we’ll all need to be thinking about with wearables and the IoT.

So with a vast computer network connecting billions of devices to the cloud transferring immense amount of data security issues moving from credit card information to much more complex, machine-to-machine hacks, like hacking your car or your healthkit with all of your valuable data along with it.

Now, should you care about this? Not yet since much of this is still in its infancy. The subject is so complex that no one really has any clear idea on how this is going to evolve and techies around the world are discussing the implications at @ThingsExpos globally. As these digital/physical barriers start to blend, what you should care about, now more than ever, is website security. Our team is constantly monitoring our customers’ sites to be able to react swiftly to malicious attacks and using standards compliant code, among other items, a necessary approach that may not always be available from cloud-based website builder platforms.

Bottom line: If you care about your business, then you care about your site, your information, and its security — it’s more important than ever to understand what efforts are being used to protect your digital marketing tools and sites.


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