One of the hottest topics in IT today is IoT, which usually stands for the Internet of Things. Here, however, I’d like to assign it another meaning: the internet of trolls and their tolls.


What do the internet of trolls and their tolls have to do with the data center and IT in particular? A lot, since we IT professionals have to deal with the mess created by end-users falling for the click-bait material at its heart. Without a doubt, the IT tolls from these internet trolls can cause real IT headaches. Think security breaches and ransomware, as well as the additional strain on people, processes, and technological resources.


One example of the internet of trolls and their tolls is the rise of fake online news. It’s an issue that places the onus on the end-user to discern between fact and reality, and often plays on an end-user’s emotions to trigger an action, such as clicking on a link. Again, what does this have to do with us? Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are prominent sources of traffic on most organizations’ infrastructure services, whether it be the routers and switches, or the end-user devices that utilize those network connections and bandwidth, plus compute resources.


Fake news, on its own, may provide water cooler conversation starters, but throw in spearfishing and ransomware schemes, and it can have fatal consequences in the data center. Compromised data, data or intellectual property held for ransom, and disruption to IT services are all common examples of what can be done with just a single click on a fake news link by IT’s weakest link – our end-users.


Both forms of IoT have their basis in getting data from systems. The biggest challenges revolve around the integrity of the data and the validity of the data analysis. Data can be framed to tell any story. The question is: Are you being framed by faulty data and/or analysis when dealing with the other IoT?


Let me know what you think in the comment section below.