COVID-19 Update

The Service Desk: How to Manage AV Technology on IT Networks

AV technology on IT networks present opportunities to better your business… but it also presents security risks. Here’s how to mitigate those.

Mike Bloomfield Leave a Comment
The Service Desk: How to Manage AV Technology on IT Networks

The introduction of AV technology on IT networks can be a welcome addition to any size business. From conference room projectors to whole office audio systems, businesses can improve their workspace atmosphere with AV technology.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT); with everything being “connected,” IT providers have been tasked with protecting these devices and ensuring they are always up and running.

When determining how these upgrades should be installed in the office, the IT provider should always be the main implementor of any additions to the company’s network.

Security & AV technology

In the planning phase of any AV project, it’s important to ensure security will be properly set. Any device added to the company’s network can open a Pandora’s Box of issues.

As an integrator, you don’t want to be responsible for adding 20 devices on a company’s network, only then to see said network is taken down due to maxing out DHCP network addresses.

IoT devices can also pose a huge security risk to the network if any device is added improperly.

It’s important to discuss any network devices on a network with the IT provider. The IT provider will make the proper security adjustments and decisions needed to not put the business at risk.

Imagine if you were to improperly install an IoT device on your client’s network, something as simple as an internet connected thermostat, which was then exploited and used to push a ransomware attack to the company’s network. That would be devastating to the business and your reputation.

These security holes can be mitigated if the IT provider makes the proper decisions and implementations, such as putting IoT devices on VLANS, limiting incoming and outgoing traffic to IoT devices, etc.

These security holes can be mitigated if the IT provider makes the proper decisions and implementations, such as putting IoT devices on VLANS, limiting incoming and outgoing traffic to IoT devices, etc.

For managing AV on the business network, there are some points that the IT provider should check off.

All AV devices should be separated from the business network using VLAN.

This VLAN connection should only have as much access to WAN/LAN as needed. Proper subnetting based on the endpoint count is essential. Don’t use a Class A network if the business will never have more than 253 devices.

Limited DHCP

The IT provider should also limit DHCP based on the expected number of IoT devices to help ensure that unwanted devices do not end up on the network.

As an integrator, you should utilize an RMM with a toolset specifically geared towards IoT, similar to those used by IT providers to manage client’s infrastructure.

There are RMM tools out there geared towards integrators that offer unlimited endpoints with multi-VLAN support, automated network mapping lets you see IoT devices on the network, and many other features.

Network monitoring is also key, as any device added to a network could be an entry point for a hacker so it’s an important piece to keep your eye on and notify the IT provider should you see anything out of the normal.

Related: 4G and 5G Network Security Vulns DO Affect Pro AV: Here’s How

Email or push alerts allow you to be on top of any amount of IoT devices such as being informed immediately should a conference room TV go offline. Relationship-building is essential for success and growth in this industry.

Not only can a well-done AV installation be satisfying for the business owner, it can also open the door for the IT provider to discuss their other products and services.

An AV installation may put your foot in the door, but a smooth and successful installation can foster a strong relationship that can lead to upselling opportunities and possible referrals.

CoronaVirus Update