Month: November 2017

Black Friday’s best tech bets



 Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and gratefulness. The following day, on the other hand, is dedicated to rampant consumerism and generally attempting to not get trampled by a stampede of fellow deal seekers. In honor of making your Thanksgiving weekend slightly less stressful than it has to be, here’s a roundup of some of the best tech deals you’ll find a week from today. Read More

Internet of Warnings: How Smart Technology Can Threaten Your Business’s Security



security is a concern with iot

Science fiction technology may not be as far off as we believe. The Internet of Things (IoT) uses the powerful combination of Wi-Fi and cloud technology to send information and perform actions through devices with Internet capabilities. This advance stems from the use of telemetry, decades-old machine-to-machine communication via wired sensors and transmitters. Now the wires have been replaced by radio waves that transfer a nearly infinite amount of data.

IoT technology ranges from entire smart cities that streamline traffic to fridges that detect when you’re low on milk and order it for you, among many other products and services. Devices such as Fitbit and Nest are growing in popularity due to their low price, practicality, and variety of automatic functions. Nearly any object you use regularly can be exchanged for a “smart” version that logs usage, performs tasks for you, or learns your schedule and changes the environment accordingly—rapidly making the ubiquitous dream of a “smart house” a present reality.

How can the Internet of Things be utilized in business?

The Internet of Things is becoming more prevalent, so it’s likely your business has considered a switch to some form of IoT device. Self-driving delivery trucks and self-monitoring security systems are industry-specific, but every business benefits from smart lighting and thermostats that reduce energy costs. Retail markets can use IoT to keep an accurate and immediate inventory, while devices like Square can turn your smartphone or tablet into a hassle-free cash register.

Though IoT technology is still relatively new, the potential economic impact looms on the horizon. Constant updates on the status and stock of households and workplaces means the average consumer is likely to purchase more products than they would buy on their own. All industries have the potential to use this technology to increase sales and efficiency wherever needed. IoT devices may eventually replace human counterparts who once performed the same function.

How can you secure your Internet of Things technology?

Security is the biggest risk factor when incorporating IoT technology into your business. Some factors you should take into consideration before committing to an IoT upgrade:

  • Hacking: The most widespread IoT fear also happens to be the most rampant. If there’s a security loophole in a device that stores your credit card number or other personal information, hackers will try to exploit this vulnerability, often without encountering firewalls or other obstacles. Your safety could be compromised further by hackers who take over the entire system and hold your devices at ransom or even use your hardware to launch attacks against others without your knowledge. Understanding how your data is stored and accessed is something you must be aware of when considering an IoT device for your business.
  • Surveillance: Any device with a microphone or camera can potentially be activated by a remote user with the right knowledge. That’s why sites that seek out the IP addresses of webcams with unprotected open ports stream millions of private video feeds to viewers willing to pay. Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your device and the permissions its software may have to be sure no one can eavesdrop on you. Read the fine print!
  • Company Security Policies: How does the manufacturer manage the security of their devices? Device security is the responsibility of the individual company, and since there aren’t yet any laws protecting IoT security, most companies depend on self-regulation and self-reporting. What safeguards has the company put in place to protect you, the consumer? What happens to your device if the company goes out of business?
  • Education and Caution: People can become reliant on smart technology, so it’s important to know the hidden downfalls of using these devices in your business. Employees who come in contact with a company IoT device should be aware of the possible threats and security breaches they can cause.

Most of the security concerns with IoT technology have to do with the engineering of the devices themselves. For this reason, knowledge and discretion are the most important safeguards to take when considering the switch to an interconnected network of smart devices. Though it may be fun to imagine your work computer booting up when it senses your car pulling into the parking lot, the vulnerabilities of this technology cast a long shadow on its practicality.

This article is brought to you by Mark Anderson, CEO of Anderson Technologies, an IT Consulting firm in St. Louis.

The post Internet of Warnings: How Smart Technology Can Threaten Your Business’s Security appeared first on ReadWrite.

Apple’s new ad shows how iPads are going to replace laptops



 Apple has released a brand new ad for the iPad Pro. It features a young girl and a rose gold iPad Pro running iOS 11. And Apple’s pitch is quite clear here — the iPad is the future of computers. The company even thinks there will be a time when a young person doesn’t know what “computer” means. There’s this meme that keeps coming back on Twitter. A young… Read More

Apple releases iOS 11.1.2 to fix iPhone X cold weather issue



 Apple has made iOS 11.1.2 available, the second minor point release it’s put out in as many weeks. This one is specifically designed to address a bug where the iPhone X could become temporarily unresponsive to touch input when moving from warm weather to dramatically colder temperatures – like venturing outside in winter in Canada, for instance. The update is also said to address… Read More

iOS 11.2 is going to support faster 7.5W Qi wireless charging



 The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X all support wireless charging using the Qi standard. It means that iPhones are now compatible with hundreds of chargers out there. But iPhone Qi charging is currently limited to 5W, or the slowest wireless charging speed. Apple is currently working on iOS 11.2 — this update is going to support 7.5W charging, as MacRumors spotted. Wireless charging… Read More

Apple’s iPad could drop the home button and add Face ID in 2018



 Apple is reportedly working on a redesign of the iPad that includes dropping the Home button and slimming down the bezels on the top-end model, as well as adding facial recognition tech to allow for Face ID unlocking and more. Bloomberg says the redesigned iPad could make its consumer debut as early as next year.
The upgraded tablet would likely sit at the top of the iPad line, which would… Read More

New Samsung ad attacks Apple for 10 years of inferior iPhones



 It’s been some time since Samsung mocked Apple with videos on the inferiority of the iPhone  — the exploding Note 7 set that argument back a fair amount — but the Korean firm has removed the gloves again with a new video released right after last week’s iPhone X launch. The gist of it is a common argument laid out by Android fans: that Apple adopts every feature… Read More

Google’s Pixelbook is my new favorite travel buddy



 The Google Pixelbook is a bit of an odd duck among notebooks, or among tablets – or even among notebook/tablet hybrids. It’s a Chromebook, which by now is an established category, though one with very specific appeal; and it runs Android apps, which makes it feel very much like an iPad competitor. It’s a great device in terms of hardware build and general performance, but… Read More

Samsung now offers an Enterprise Edition of the Note 8 for business



 The push to let employees bring their own devices to work has been underway for some time now — in fact, it’s a big part of what ultimately doomed enterprise-focused companies like BlackBerry’s hardware businesses. Samsung’s been walking the line for a while as well, rolling out enterprise features like Knox security for its consumer handsets, along with accessories… Read More