Cybersecurity Must be Priority as IoT Evolves


The conveniences afforded by the Internet of Things (IoT) may come at a very high price if cybersecurity fails to become a top priority for organizations across a broad sector of vertical markets. According to cybersecurity specialists SimpleWan, the number of breaches and hacks is increasing exponentially, but companies are still not being serious enough when it comes to cybersecurity.

IoTevolutionworld Group Editorial Director Erik Linask got a chance to speak to Erik Knight, CEO and founder of SimpleWan, at the recent ITEXPO Florida 2016 event. Knight, who presented a cybersecurity conference session at the show, said today’s breaches are about making money, stealing intellectual  property or making a statement, and organizations need to take the threat more seriously.

“It’s not making the news as much because it is so frequent,” said Knight of today’s data breaches. “And it’s affecting all walks of business from the small dry cleaner down the street to your large enterprise.”

He added that cybersecurity still comes in as a second or third priority for most businesses, and while compliance mandates are getting tougher, organizations are still lagging behind when it comes to securing their data and networks.

“The reality is that when you start a business these are the things you have to have,” said Knight. “You have to have a business license, you have to have a state tax ID, you have to have all these things. And computer compliance and cybersecurity are going to be on that list and it will be government regulated.”

One of the largest barriers to adoption is a lack of education about how to implement and integrate security systems, particularly among high-level IT administrators and C-level executives. A lack of awareness coupled with the exorbitant rates of many Silicon Valley security experts can make cybersecurity a daunting prospect. SimpleWan aims to educate companies and particularly C-level executives about the importance of security.

“If you look at some of the big breaches that happened, they lost their jobs,” said Knight “The security experts, CTOs, CIOs of companies, they’re the first to go in a data breach. Someone has to take responsibility because it’s an expensive, expensive mistake.”

And the IoT and the huge number of connected devices and applications that come with it create even larger vulnerabilities. Knight said that something as simple as a smart thermostat seems like a great idea in terms of energy and cost savings. But if a connected device like that is hacked, thousands of dollars in energy costs are at risk.

SimpleWan combats cybersecurity through its subscription and hardware-based firewall solutions, designed specifically for SMBs and enterprises. Offerings aim to improve traffic speed, VoIP call quality and management while offering high levels of security and compliance.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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IoTevolutionworld Contributing Editor

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