The Biggest Challenge For IoT

November 28, 2016, Category: News

Over 25% of the identified attacks to enterprises will come through IoT devices

When data services fail at work or at home, it is hugely frustrating and causes disruption to our day. The impending introduction and expansion of the Internet of Things connecting over 10 times the number of devices that are currently connected to one another, our frustration is only going to grow when outages occur.

With the number of connected devices on networks only set to increase, it drastically increases the importance of reliable network connectivity. Network demands will be higher on operators’ networks, meaning Telcos will have to place more focus on providing a consistent and reliable service to meet the rising demands of customers.

The growth in connected IoT devices brings with it further privacy and security concerns, primarily around the increase in information providers can collect about the user. The recent DDoS attack on Dyn suggests that producers of IoT-enabled devices still have a long way to go to alleviate consumers’ concerns. The Executive Vice President of Products at Dyn, Scott Hilton, estimated that the number of infected IoT devices involved in the attack was at least 100,000, causing peaks of traffic of over 1Tbps.

53% of consumers were concerned with issues around the sharing of their data, and 51% concerned with the vulnerability of their devices to hacking

Adweek reports that 53% of consumers were concerned with issues around the sharing of their data, and 51% concerned with the vulnerability of their devices to hacking. While it is clear that providers of IoT devices do not have all the answers currently, those who can mitigate the concerns of consumers will have a distinct competitive advantage.

Current research indicates that the bulk of IoT devices available today are vulnerable to attacks, with HP finding as many as 70% are exposed. It is clear that the IoT is not yet mature, or even secure. The addition of huge volumes of new devices and the upscaling of infrastructure that is needed to support the number of devices presents challenges on a scale that is unmatched by anything that has been experienced in recent years.

Consumer products such as smart watches, smart fridges etc may not be of such immediate concern from a security point of view (although the effects of DDoS attacks are clear to see), but the growth in enterprise IoT and the potential consequences should be a real concern. 

IoT security will account for less than 10% of security budgets

By 2020, Gartner predicts that over 25% of the identified attacks to enterprises will come through IoT devices. However, they also predict that IoT security will account for less than 10% of security budgets. Spending on IoT security is expected to reach $348m by the end of this year, with it being predicted that is will rise to $547m in 2018. This is a very small amount when you consider the potential effects of a coordinated attack on an enterprise.

Security focus is shifting to how to protect the authentication of critical data and the triggers for action to take place. The communication between IoT devices that cause action are the most important to validate and secure

The implications of the IoT are huge; with the industry facing disruption to telecom and infrastructure providers; manufacturers of servers, networking, semiconductors and memory; as well as cloud-service providers. There are a number of security and privacy issues the industry needs to overcome, but it’s a space full of opportunities if done right.

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