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How to Prevent Shadow IoT Risks for Your Business 

by | Jul 12, 2019 | MyTek Blog, Security


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The Internet of Things has drastically changed the business landscape in the last few years. Research suggests that in 2019, there will be around seven billion smart “IoT” devices. This count is expected to grow three times more by 2025. However, the more the number of interconnected devices, the more the chances of security risks. It could be either due to poor hardware design or non-regular patching of software.

Today, we’ll see how IoT (Internet of Things) could be a threat to your organization’s IT security and to prevent shadow IoT attacks.

What are the IT Security Risks Involving the IoT (Internet of Things) Devices?

IoT devices have changed the way we view people and businesses alike. People are more accustomed to using an interconnected digital ecosystem. However, business IoT devices come with business-specific security measures. But security problems can arise when we use cut-rate devices used to avoid business outlays. Also, consumer devices used by customers & staff can expose security risks.

Cyberattacks via IoT devices involve more than just stealing sensitive files. Hackers can access an unsecured entry point of a business and use the company devices for a botnet attack. They can also lurk around in the network, sabotaging multiple devices.

What is Shadow IoT?

Shadow IT is a situation where your staff downloads software when it’s yet to be approved by your IT administrator. Similarly, in the case of IoT devices, there are so many endpoints like wearables that can be hacked. The administrators may not even be aware of its existence. This problem is called the shadow IoT.

A 2017 study by an IoT security organization shows all the surveyed organizations have shadow IoT devices on their network. On the other hand, a 2018 report shows that one-third of UK, US, and German companies harbor about 1000 shadow IoT devices on their system every day. The numbers are alarming as cybercriminals can easily break into shadow IoT devices to listen to conversations, steal data, or have remote access to your network.

How to Reduce Shadow IoT Threats For Your Business?

Use the below-mentioned strategies to safeguard the IoT devices on your network.

  • Keep your IT admin in the loop: Do not blacklist the IoT devices; instead, encourage your employees to bring them to your network through proper channels. Make sure that you share all the device details with your IT administrator. Be transparent and bring everyone on the same page.
  • Separate your IoT devices: You can partition your wireless network to separate IoT devices (and software) from your core business technology setup.
  • Monitor potential threats.  Over 80 percent of the IoT includes wireless networking. By tracking wireless signals for shadow IoT networks and devices, you can prevent security hacks.

The IoT ecosystem is growing every day; and, you need to prevent shadow IoT attacks. Give a call to MyTek today at 623-312-2440 to know how we can help you manage shadow IoT devices risks.


Tim - Team

Tim Tiller, LMSW

Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.


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