Contact us today!

FRS Pros Blog

How to Prevent a Virtual Assistant from Compromising Your Security

How to Prevent a Virtual Assistant from Compromising Your Security

Virtual assistants have a lot of promise as a productivity tool, so it only makes sense that they would begin to appear in the workplace. Unfortunately, these devices have also gained a reputation as a security risk. Whether or not you’ve considered bringing virtual assistants into your business, you need to prepare for their presence there.

From Apple’s Siri, to the Google Assistant, to Microsoft’s Cortana, to Amazon’s Alexa, these voice-activated solutions have appeared in our computers, our mobile devices, and in stand-alone devices.

As they have become more commonplace, they have grown in capabilities. Many of these capabilities are admittedly well-suited for the workplace - but the always-on microphones that these devices rely on to function make many pauses. After all, there’s the potential for sensitive data to be sent along to a third party if it is merely spoken aloud in this device’s presence.

This has created a quandary for those wishing to leverage these devices - do the benefits outweigh the potential risks of such an implementation?

Here, we’ve assembled a few considerations that should help make these risks less of a factor.

Just Another Internet of Things Device

The risks inherent in Internet of Things devices have been clearly documented. One notable example was the Mirai botnet, which enslaved IoT devices to power its attacks. Furthermore, it seems to be easy to forget that these virtual assistants are simply another Internet-connected device.

However, if you keep that in mind, you may find it much simpler to outline policies for these devices that can help to reduce your potential security risk. For instance, if there is a location in your office where sensitive information is spoken aloud, a virtual assistant shouldn’t be placed there. Furthermore, you don’t want to put your business’ network at risk, so it would make more sense to establish a secondary wireless network for these devices to use. That way, even if these devices are infiltrated, the rest of your network isn’t made vulnerable as a result.

Whose Devices are They?

Data privacy and ownership is a big deal in business, which could potentially complicate our issue further. Let’s say an employee were to bring in their own virtual assistant. While this may reduce the business’ capital investment into the use of a virtual assistant, there are a lot of concerns regarding security and privacy. How can you enforce data privacy if the data is being accessed by a device that you can’t control?

Policies Are Your Greatest Asset

In order to keep your business safe, while still embracing the benefits that virtual assistants can bring to the workplace, you need to set firm controls on how they can be used. There should be the assumption that one of these devices can always be listening, leading to a policy of keeping these assistants out of areas where sensitive information is regularly discussed.

This awareness should also spread over to your other devices. There are already plenty of microphones and potential vulnerabilities in the office. Phones can have their firmware hacked, and laptops can have monitoring software installed without your knowledge.

FRS Pros can help you be sure that your business remains secure against a variety of threats while still enjoying the use of different technologies. Call us at 561-795-2000 to learn more.

How to Build a Better Backup Strategy for Your Bus...
Tip of the Week: A Few Tips That Will Help You Boo...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Tuesday, April 23 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!


Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Privacy Internet Network Security Business Computing Google User Tips Cloud Business Management Productivity Tech Term Microsoft Hackers Hardware Software Mobile Devices Innovation Data Backup Computer Hosted Solutions Malware Browser Smartphones Windows 10 Cybersecurity Efficiency Smartphone Office 365 Data Recovery Windows IT Services Internet of Things Email Android Data Security Outsourced IT Apps Backup Cybercrime IT Support Data Upgrade Operating System VoIP Disaster Recovery Network Business Continuity Communication Server Communications Alert Law Enforcement Mobile Device Management Ransomware Vulnerability Small Business Workplace Tips Phishing Saving Money Money Business Microsoft Office Managed IT Services Artificial Intelligence Managed IT Services Passwords Gadgets Cloud Computing Spam Miscellaneous Social Media Best Practice Automation Collaboration IT Support Employer-Employee Relationship Applications Information Users Chrome Virtualization Networking Unsupported Software Information Technology Holiday Word Telephone Systems App Tech Support Facebook Router Blockchain OneNote Wireless Two-factor Authentication Google Drive Windows 10 Bring Your Own Device Save Money Computers Managed Service Provider Managed IT Cortana IT Management Wireless Technology Cost Management Safety Government Data Management Augmented Reality Conferencing WannaCry Commerce Robot Risk Management Productivity Business Technology Sports Patch Management Wireless Charging Google Docs Project Management The Internet of Things Devices Proactive IT VPN iPhone Wi-Fi SaaS Password Data Breach Update Shortcut Politics Touchscreen Data Storage Health Travel WiFi Quick Tips BDR Access Control Excel Mobile Device Managed Service Hacking Hosted Solution Gmail Fraud Mobile Security Audit Search Avoiding Downtime Mobility Data Protection Evernote Meetings Application Google Assistant User Error Encryption Hybrid Cloud Budget Identities Hard Disk Drive Going Green Social Wireless Internet Saving Time Touchpad Employee-Employer Relationship Battery Value Wasting Time Charger Medical IT Administrator Data Loss Ciminal Marketing BYOD Data Privacy Hacker Windows 7 Lithium-ion battery Data Theft Amazon Downtime Streaming Media Device Security Legislation Language IT Solutions Gamification Keyboard Shortcuts Adobe Workers Humor Emergency Point of Sale Accessory Software as a Service 5G Access Webinar Personal Information Hard Drive Display Gifts Computing Entertainment Virtual Assistant E-Commerce Chromecast Windows Ink Consultant Telephony Comparison Memory Identity Theft Human Resources Licensing Updates Remote Monitoring Testing IT budget IT solutions Reputation Computer Forensics Peripheral Outlook Bandwidth YouTube Internet Exlporer Microsoft Excel History Chromebook Co-Managed Services Credit Cards App store Data storage Alexa for Business Payment Cards Google Maps Spyware Camera Uninterrupted Power Supply Specifications Virus iOS WIndows Server 2008 Remote Computing Financial Vendor Management Payroll Microsoft Word File Sharing Windows 10s HBO Management Scam Education Printing Telephone Computer Care Nanotechnology Settings Employee Apple Screen Mirroring Projects Sales Proactive Samsung Security Cameras Tablets Maintenance Unified Threat Management Storage Social Engineering Solid State Drive Transportation PowerPoint Admin Files Sync Laptop Vendor DDoS Private Cloud Hyperlink Disaster FAQ Root Cause Analysis Legal Break/Fix Recovery Edge Emails Cast Identity Retail Websites Computer Fan Antivirus Machine Learning NFL eWaste Upgrades Computer Accessories Smart Technology Flexibility Music Regulation HaaS Instant Messaging End of Support Thank You Relocation Cache Twitter Scalability Analytics Keyboard Training Monitors Congratulations Black Market Cleaning Automobile Office Television CrashOverride PDF Big Data Mobile Computing Managing Stress Company Culture Worker USB es Text Messaging How To Books Employees Hiring/Firing Video Games Experience Virtual Reality Work/Life Balance Crowdsourcing Employer Employee Relationship Office tips Current Events Electronic Medical Records Benefits Advertising Phone System Compliance Save Time Printers