Nexus On PCTV: Securing The Smart Gifts You Got For Christmas…

The holiday season always involves technology in one way or another, whether it’s the supply chain issues affecting which gifts you can buy, as well as cybersecurity best practices to follow with your new tech gifts.

Nexus IT Consultants’ CEO Earl Foote recently appeared on Mountain Connections PCTV to talk about supply chain issues and cybersecurity best practices during (and beyond) the holiday season.

YouTube video

Supply Chain Shortages

Ongoing supply chain issues continue to affect the availability of vital business hardware. The cause is a confluence of both demand and supply chain shocks, including a global chip shortage, labor shortages, manufacturing disruptions from COVID, and higher demand. Independent of the cause, the impacts continue to reverberate throughout the global economy.

Manufacturers that rely on these components (Lenovo, Dell, HP, Cisco, etc.) anticipate delays in fulfilling new hardware and products. They expect the effects of the shortage to last at least into 2022.

You likely encountered shipping delays and availability issues when trying to do your holiday shopping—that’s not going to end any time soon. Please prepare for potential delays and longer-than-normal lead times for the hardware. Whether you need spares or are doing a complete refresh, make sure to plan ahead.

While chip manufacturers fail to produce a sufficient supply of these key components, prices will inevitably go up. TSMC plans to hike its prices in line with the limited amount of components they are able to produce.

This has resulted in a bidding war among major manufacturers. As globally active brands like Toyota and Apple compete for vital components, they’ll have to pay much higher prices. Add to that increases in shipping costs and higher wages for labor, along with inflations, and you have costs continuing to climb. Those expenses will be passed along to consumers like you.

While prices may be high now, they’re only bound to increase over the next year. As the shortage continues and demand continues to climb, prices will increase in kind. That’s why you need to start placing orders now for the hardware you’ll need next year and the year after that. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you.

Careful With Your New Smart Devices…

Did you get a smart device for Christmas?

Smart technology (also known as the Internet Of Things [IoT]) is a natural evolution of the Internet, consisting of a range of new “smart” and “connected” products and technologies for the commercial, consumer, and government environments.

In addition, on the consumer and office side, vendors are rushing to meet the growing market demand for new products that are always-on, connected, and available. The ever-expanding network of IoT devices offers a range of convenient benefits to consumers and offers exciting applications in the business world.

Whether it’s a smart fridge in the home, a smart display sign out front of a McDonalds, or the smart console in a user’s car, IoT devices can vary greatly in purpose and usage.

IoT devices are not necessarily secure, and are becoming a more popular target for cybercriminals. Unfortunately, aspects of product security and lifecycle are often treated as an afterthought at best in the development and production of these products.

More and more of us are buying devices for our homes and offices, and even devices that we carry with us that require a connection to the Internet. Have you stopped to consider the risks?

As a so-far unregulated aspect of the IT world, IoT devices have been developed with minimal or nonexistent security features, despite the fact that they often connect over networks to sensitive data.

If your IoT devices aren’t safeguarded, cybercriminals can do a lot of damage to your organization:

  • Capturing information traveling through the network.
  • Turning off critical systems like the refrigerator, alarm systems, etc.
  • Taking control of utilities like the thermostat

That’s why you need to look into the privacy and security settings available on any and all smart devices you use. You can Google best practices for security settings for the specific device in question to find out how to limit the data it gathers on you and reduce the potential risks it poses to you.

Follow The Right Cybersecurity Best Practices All Year Round

Just because the holiday season is particularly active for cybercriminals, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook now that it’s the new year. Make sure to stay secure all year round, at home and at the office.