M2M and the Internet of Things: How secure is it?

Summary:Machine-to-machine technology looks set to take off, but are businesses running to it without considering the security aspects? We spoke to the industry about what security implications exist and how serious they are.

As interest in the "Internet of Things" phenomenon grows — the idea that almost everything will be connected to the internet and will provide data or control — so too has business' focus on machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies and communication. Like any emerging technology, however, M2M has a slew of security issues that businesses will have to deal with.

To highlight the security challenges ahead, ZDNet spoke with the representatives from Oracle, NetIQ, Check Point Australia, Palo Alto Networks, and Verizon Business.

Although the experts disagree on the exact number of "things" that will be connected to the internet, one fact is clear: it's going to be massive. Cisco is betting that by 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Gartner pointed to a figure closer to 30 billion, but that hasn't stopped the company from listing it among its top 10 strategic technology trends for 2012. Verizon has also listed it among its five key business-tech trends for 2013, and, through its recent acquisition of Hughes Telematics, is betting on the Asia-Pacific region to take the lead.

However, all of these devices need to have some form of connectivity, resulting in significant security issues that businesses need to consider.

In the following pages, we take a look at:

  • The current progress in M2M adoption, and whether upcoming standards address security

  • The new attacks and challenges that M2M will bring to businesses

  • The security barriers that could cause M2M adoption rates to flop.

Topics: Big Data, CXO, Data Management, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Mobility, Networking, Oracle, Security, Innovation


A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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