The Internet of Business Things and the Evolution of Security

The Internet of Business Things and the Evolution of Security

By Micheal Mullen | January 22, 2015

The consumer buzz over the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing as consumers embrace cloud connectivity, the connectivity between our devices, be it smartphone or Fitbit and services as they replace software.

So what about business? In a way, the Internet of Business Things (IoBT) is already here in the form of applications and environments that connect us to our content, services that allow us to view who’s collaborating with that content and smarter systems that alert us when business needs arise through our PCs, phones and tablets.

Yet, IoBT is still behind the IoT curve. Few executives would wear a Fitbit device just to read their business email. But we are seeing the growth of smartwatches as a way to communicate some of those needs based on business consumer demand.

Consumers might be the first to adapt to such technologies but there’s been no mass adoption of IoT devices for IoBT because the security behind such devices doesn’t meet the level of security that businesses require. Would a boring smartwatch with secure features become the new Blackberry? Probably not.

IoBT might be the answer to that security issue. In the new services economy, digital keys are used to unlock services and open access per user. Imagine that new employees in an organization were to get a password, go through a governance check to see what content they should have access to and the end user is asked to either carry a keyfob or download a digital key to their smartphone. The result is two key authentication with less hassle.

With IoT, consumers have adopted smarter devices not because they offer new functionality but because they offer new insights, increase access or create more data with less action. With IoBT, business leaders might be able to rethink how end users access their networks, environments and the content that will make them more productive with less hassle.

For more secure content, a third authentication might be a GPS, A-GPS or beacon signal – especially for governmental or regulated industries. One instance might require a person to use their password, have their phone connected to their access device via NFC or Bluetooth and be in a certain building. If they go to lunch with that device, they lose access to critical material. That method would also make it harder to hack.

The idea is simple. Passwords don’t really work like they used to. And complex schemes to add security to content governance are increasing the rise of shadow IT where end users are circumventing security measures in order to be more productive. While they are increasing productivity, they’re also increasing their organization’s level of risk.

In the business world, there always needs to a locked gate between end users and content. Rethinking security might best begin with understanding end user security barriers and developing new ways to recognize the end user before they try to unlock the gate.


currently serves as Senior Content Manager at Metalogix. Previously, he's authored or edited content on sites including ZD Net, Deltek, The Washington Post and L-3 Communications. Hunt him down @metalogix and on Facebook.

Written By: Micheal Mullen

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