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IOT Security is Still Seen as an Afterthought, Says Survey

Theo Priestley

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Internet of Things Scotland

IOT security is not top of the strategic agenda according to 43% of IT leaders and decision makers surveyed in new Trend Micro report.

While organisations rush to offer connected and smart services, the majority of IT leaders are concerned about losing customer trust in the event of an IOT security attack. However, a recent survey by Trend Micro showed that many are woefully under-prepared for such a scenario.

Kevin Simzer, chief operating officer at Trend Micro said, “The investment in security measures should mirror the investment in system upgrades to best mitigate the risk of a breach that would have a major impact on both the bottom line and customer trust.

“IoT systems are the future for businesses and many new types of connected devices are being introduced to corporate networks.

“While this is beneficial for business operations, the embedded operating systems of IoT devices aren’t designed for easy patching, which creates a universal cyber risk problem.”

An Internet of Troubled Waters

While 63% agree that IoT-related cybersecurity threats have increased over the past 12 months, a worrying 43% recognise that “security is an afterthought” when implementing IOT projects. Furthermore, a little over half (53%) say they have not considered how connected devices could breach security protocols within the organisation itself, again reiterating that the impact of the Internet of Things is not fully understood. The effects of a breach were examined in the report, citing that a loss of customer trust was the most concerning impact, among others such as monetary loss, being fined by regulators, and breaking data security regulations.

IOT Security Not Worth The Money

The IOT security survey, which was issued to over 1,100 IT and security decision makers globally, indicated major discrepancies between the investment in IOT systems and security measures to protect them. In fact in a similar report by McKinsey Global Institute outlined a number areas where IOT security needs addressing in advance before the full benefits can be realised globally, chiefly;

  • gaps in technical sophistication – a need for end-to-end IOT security solutions
  • a lack of well defined and agreed standards – IOT is a fragmented landscape
  • IOT security is viewed as a commodity and not worth a higher price
  • hardware and semi-conductor manufacturers make no money from IOT security

McKinsey goes on to say that the internet of things could have an annual economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion worldwide by 2025, making it imperative that IOT security becomes top of the agenda of any future strategy before an organisation’s business case has been written up.

Theo Priestley

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