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April 10, 2015

Canon opens up on how to make sense of IoT data

CBR sat down with Quentyn Taylor, Canon’s Director of Security to explore how business can use IoT to flourish.

By Joao Lima

We have come a long way from those days when getting to the office was nothing else than seating on a desk, placing paper on the back of a typewriter and type all the way with no space for error.

Today, we live in a world where technology gives a new step forward on a daily basis (or at least from Monday to Friday). IoT is just the next natural path for evolution.

As ever more Things get connected businesses must now adapt to this new reality.

Companies will have to be swift in the next couple of years. They will have to rethink their strategies in order to cope with the new challenges.

Adoption of IoT by businesses could be affected and even slow down as confusion prevails due to the proliferation of multiple platforms, protocols and large sets of APIs.

So how can businesses keep the wealth of data collected through connected devices safe, and how can they make sense of it?

Quentyn Taylor, Director of Information Security, Governance and Risk at Canon Europe, said: "If one single Boeing 737 engine creates 10 terabytes of data every thirty minutes in flight, imagine the data that could be generated by the 25 billion things that will be connected to the internet – that’s three for every person on the planet – by the end of 2020."

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"While just about every organisation is jumping on the IoT bandwagon, only a few really think about how to handle the vast data lakes they are creating. This is not only a huge security issue which could easily eradicate the consumer trust and brand image on which any organisation relies on, but also a missed business opportunity if the data is not leveraged."

Taylor explained that in order to tackle this problem, organisations need to remember that not all data is equal and that it’s not feasible to apply a one-size-fits-all security layer across the entire data set.

This wouldn’t allow the organisation and its customers to achieve maximum protection.

Handling less-sensitive or publicly available data, such as phone numbers or billing information, requires a different security approach than more sensitive data – personally identifiable information such as passwords, credit card details or purchase histories.

Employees can also be a source of risk when it comes to protecting sensitive data.

A recent study by Canon, which surveyed 3,200 office workers found 48% don’t know how to properly use the business technology available.This could open up potential data leaks due to human error.

Taylor added: "Organisations must remember that every IT investment also requires investments into training, and the good news is that 52 per cent of workers see training as the secret to being more productive.

"Once organisations have identified and segmented the most valuable customer data, they would miss a trick if they would only protect it."

Customer information is the new currency in today’s data-driven world, and analysing it to extract customer insights could benefit various parts of the business, from hyper-personalised marketing campaigns to showcasing the capabilities of products.

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