Education Isn't Enough

By Joyce Deuley & Jose Gallardo

Earlier this month, the JBA team attended the InnoTech Cyber Security conference in San Antonio, and noticed that education and confirmation were key topics of discussion. The show had many opportunities for professionals of all levels to gain more understanding of current cyber security threats, how to mitigate risk, and how cyber security fits into IoT.

As we continue to connect more systems and networks become more interoperable, the need to collaborate with third parties is increasing. Part of this is because established markets with strict security standards, i.e. government and medical, need to be selective and cautious of how to integrate new, open technologies with legacy network infrastructure and technologies. But another aspect is the complexities associated with transitioning to more open, cloud-based networks and incorporating devices at the edge.

Companies that are considering IoT deployments and the necessary network upgrades should find trusted advisors to help plan and guide the projects to ensure successful deployments. One of the sessions led by Louis Hood from CDW, “Defining Your Cloud Strategy While Mitigating Cloud Security Risk”, touched on this. Some key takeaways from the discussion included getting C-level executives to buy in to getting assistance in establishing a new cloud network within an organization. This can be a daunting task for companies, particularly from a risk perspective. Changing networks to incorporate newer technologies is typically an expensive undertaking, and if they aren’t executed properly, returning to a more traditional network can make it even more complicated and costly.

Having an objective consultant or a knowledgeable partner can make this transition go much more smoothly. Even a simple whiteboard session can be enough to allow a client to clearly define objectives and potential challenges, and help to identify unique opportunities or solutions to proposed challenges. Stakeholders can then get advice on how to execute a process to take advantage of strengths and resources, all while minimizing risk by keeping a thumb on weaknesses and potential threats.

To put this into a broader IoT context, currently 70-80% of all IoT deployments either stall or fail within the first year, though our research shows a higher instance of it. It isn’t enough to just know about something; we need to be able to execute. Because of this, it is critical that organizations seek beyond internal teams and reach out to the ecosystem. Go out and find knowledgeable partners, vendors, and advisors to help construct and tailor your IoT deployments to suit your unique business needs. These numbers may sound scary, but consider this: even the most experienced of climbers use a guide to find the best path up a mountain. Business isn't much different. When you have a helping hand guide your path, you are much more likely to overcome the perils intrinsic with the unknown. And while it isn’t a guarantee for success, you can definitely tilt the odds in your favor.