The workplace today is dominated by mobile devices. Employee interaction via smartphone or tablet has become second nature. They will very likely use them to check work emails, download files containing customer information or access privileged network content remotely without a second thought. Unfortunately, accessing information in this way is inherently insecure. Whether it’s Internet snoopers at the airport, a stolen or lost device or state-sponsored surveillance company, confidential information can all too easily fall into the wrong hands. For this reason, implementing secure business communication techniques that protect the privacy of mobile data – on the device, in transit and at rest – has become essential. The answer lies in a combination of security best-practices and encryption-based technologies such as virtual private networks (VPNs).
The growing use of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) worldwide is in the process of turning the concept of smart factories into reality. The phenomenon has been described by observers as the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0 for short. Big things are expected. Analysts at Gartner expect manufacturing to account for 57% of total IoT spending in 2017, while total enterprise IoT investments will reach $964 billion. Industry 4.0 promises to combine digital technologies with all-pervasive internet connectivity to produce valuable data. Companies then mine, analyze and convert the information into a wealth of insights. The knowledge will then be used to boost factory productivity, increase supply chain efficiency and make cost savings. As always, new trends bring fresh challenges. Connecting industrial machinery to the outside world can lead to new security risks. Deployment of virtual private networks (VPNs) can help reduce such risks significantly, ensuring that Industry 4.0’s data treasures stay hidden from unwelcome observers.
In 2017, some of the worst data incidents of recent years have occurred. Whether Equifax, Uber or Maersk, organizations have had to admit, sometimes too late, that their customers’ personal data have been stolen. To some extent, companies’ tactics to cover up the incidents have seemed almost as criminal as the data theft itself. All industry insiders and security software companies that dare to make forecasts for the coming year agree that ransomware in particular seems to be developing into a threat that companies cannot currently handle.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to overturn Net Neutrality. The decision gives internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom companies the right to prioritize services according to customers’ ability to pay and to sell customer data to third parties. One industry likely to feel the effect of this is the automotive sector. Connected cars depend on consistent data transmission. It’s estimated that by 2021 over 380 million connected cars will be on the road, more than double the number now. Today, the motor manufacturing industry is still in the very early stages of figuring out how to make money from connected car data. The relaxing of Net Neutrality rules makes it likely that auto manufacturers will team up with telcos and ISPs to offer customers a range of data-based services. Ultimately, this could be even more profitable than actual vehicle sales. One of the biggest challenges for motor manufacturers will be to convince customers that their privacy is assured and that it will not be open season for their data. One sure fire way to secure driver data is to use virtual private networks (VPNs).
Every year, as Christmas draws nearer, many can be heard questioning the sanity of annual gifting madness. In the past, everything was better when the parents themselves were children and most were happy with a wooden car. Today’s children are far too spoiled anyway. But if you think the favorite toys of yesteryear (Magic Cube, He-Man, Furby, Tamagotchi) are the spawn of the devil, you’ll be amazed by the current toy trends. A survey of parents by the security software manufacturer McAfee found that 90 percent of children want networked toys. Hardly any parent, however, has IT security in mind, which is quite important with such digital technology finding a place in our children’s bedrooms.
Two of the biggest technology trends today – IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (machine-to-machine) communications – are changing the business world beyond all recognition.
Companies of all sizes, from major manufacturers to small-and medium-sized services companies from all sectors, now have a golden opportunity to derive new revenue streams from managing and servicing their customers’ equipment remotely.
According to leading industry analysts, the IoT market already accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars in 2017 – a figure that is set to be in the trillions by 2021. But new research reveals IoT is also a major headache for enterprise everywhere because of limited information and inadequate security measures. Legislators in the U.S. and in Europe are working to bring in standards compelling designers to do more to make their devices secure. But the signs are that even then they may be limited in scope. The good news at least is that remote connections can be reliably secured so that M2M communications remains private and confidential using virtual private networks (VPNs).