The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over everything from home security to personal fitness. It’s even stretching into commercial office spaces. IoT devices offer a lot of remote control and automation, which can help reduce expenses. But they also have their downsides. Here’s why you should limit IoT adoption in your office or make strict policies regarding the devices.

IoT Devices Don’t Have Standard Operating Systems

Programmable tools aren’t traditional computers in the way laptops or even smartphones are. Instead, they have very specific coding that performs a series of functions and transmits the data to your default devices. For example, security cameras can send video footage to a dedicated server, and water or carbon monoxide detectors send the data to the office manager’s phone. But you can only satisfactorily secure the data from one end: the one receiving the information.

Major brands offer consistency, and they are also the brands most likely to integrate seamlessly with your network and main OS in the office. That relative safety is even stronger for must-have office additions like security cameras and access control.

Opening Up Your Network to More Casual Devices Is a Risk

If your company has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, then it’s hard to manage full network security under the best of circumstances. But if your coworkers personal IoT devices are trying to hook onto the network (even if they do so unsuccessfully), they could be carrying unknown programs and vulnerabilities. If an outside reader can get a detailed history of what tries to connect to your network, they can learn a lot about your protocols. It’s even worse if a coworker’s personal/business laptop is integrated with their fitness band, home security system, or more. Once a computer accepts a device as ‘trusted’, which is required for syncing for most personal IoT devices, that device has access to everything on the computer. Users just have to hope they don’t have the functionality to do anything with it.

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