9mobile wants businesses to leverage IoT solutions
Telecommunications firm, 9mobile, has said it is working with strategic partners and other key players within the digital services ecosystem to help Nigerian businesses deliver breakthrough results through the rapid adoption of Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT allows a network of ‘things’ – any form of equipment or device with embedded electronic and powered by software – that are connected (via the Internet and other forms of connectivity) and designed to interact in a specific context (business, social, etc.) through the exchange of data. It creates opportunities for businesses and governments to access real time information that can improve efficiency, responsiveness and overall performance.
Speaking as a panel discussant on ‘Making Internet of Things Work for Business’ at the 2018 NigeriaCom Conference held in Lagos, 9mobile’s Chief Product and Information Officer, Otuyemi Otule, highlighted the benefits IoT can bring to businesses, and stressed that security and the people implications are as important in IoT considerations as are the drivers for adopting IoT in the first place.
Otule, who explained that anything capable of gathering data and transferring such to a central location where decisions are taken and the data that is transmitted are potential targets for cyber criminals, stated that businesses have to ensure that none of the components in their IoT network (devices, the operating software, etc.) is vulnerable.
According to him, “risk could be anywhere, not just on the device but across the network. The threat landscape is ever changing, and cybercriminals are hard at work looking for loopholes. Most software developers never thought of designing security into their solutions until the rise of cybercrimes. Hackers can hijack your device and compromise the data transmitted; they can intercept the information you send and use it to gain valuable insights into the business or its executives’ lives. With more devices than people on the planet today and growing exponentially, the risk landscape is complex and dynamic. It is therefore important for businesses to pay attention to security as they embrace IoT.
“The best way to protect your business is to embark on this IoT journey with a partner who understands your threat landscape because it is illogical to focus your resources on dealing with the ever-changing threat landscape rather than on your core business. You therefore need to work with professionals who understand the industry and your business’ vulnerabilities. Protecting and securing businesses and customers start with securing the gateway or door to these services and this involves simple steps such as changing default passwords that come with these devices, and a culture of regular, difficult-to-guess password changes.”
Otule, who also highlighted the importance of IoT in industries including manufacturing, healthcare and logistics, disclosed that the benefits of IoT services to Nigerian enterprises include quality improvement, cost effectiveness, and speed in service delivery. He however enjoined organizations to also factor in the people element in the adoption of IoT. IoT is inherently transformational, requiring people who are ready to challenge the status quo and deliver breakthrough outcomes.
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