By 2019, 77 percent of businesses in Australia will have embraced the Internet of Things (IoT) in some form, according to a study by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
In its latest study, The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow, Aruba said the remaining 13 percent of Australian organisations are currently not thinking about an IoT strategy, with approximately 8 percent of those surveyed still unclear of the exact definition of IoT and what their organisation could potentially gain as a result of employing IoT technology.
While Aruba found that Australian organisations are adopting IoT technology in a bid to harness enterprise-wide benefits across the enterprise, industrial, healthcare, and retail sectors, the report highlighted that only one in two Australian "connected" businesses are using collected data to improve business processes and decision making.
According to Aruba, there are a number of obstacles holding Australian organisations back from embracing IoT, with the cost of implementation making 57 percent of respondents hesitant to deploy such initiatives.
Concerns over security was a key concern to 51 percent of respondents, and difficulty integrating new IoT technologies with legacy platforms also concerned 51 percent of respondents in Australia. Aruba said these three issues were echoed across the globe.
The study also warned that the security risk of connecting thousands of "things" to existing business networks will open up.
Despite the significant security gains from IoT, security flaws were found across many IoT deployments, Aruba said, with 88 percent of organisations in Asia Pacific admitting to experiencing at least one IoT-related security breach.
More than half of respondents in Australia declared that external attacks are a key barrier to embracing and adopting an IoT strategy.
"This confirms that a holistic IoT security strategy, built on a strong network access control and policy management, will not only protect enterprises but also simplify the security approach for IoT," Aruba said.
Additionally, Aruba said that 42 percent of Australian businesses currently leveraging IoT admitted to a malware security breach on their network.
IoT Alliance Australia (IoTAA) released its Internet of Things Security Guideline last week, aimed at promoting a "security by design" approach to IoT development in Australia.
While the IoTAA believes the IoT will contribute more than AU$120 billion to Australia's economy by 2025, it said the proliferation of IoT means cybercriminals have more attack surfaces and personas that they can manipulate.
"IoT is everywhere, and we are already seeing the insecurity that it can bring. We really want the guideline to help industry players understand how to practically apply security and privacy for IoT devices," Malcolm Shore, outgoing chair of the IoTAA Workstream on Cyber Security and Network Resilience, said.
In September, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) found that 71 percent of IoT devices and services used by Australians failed to adequately explain how personal information was collected, used, and disclosed.
OAIC conducted the review from April 11-15 last year, in unison with fellow international regulators through the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), which comprises 25 participating data protection authorities.
When it comes to the collection, use, and disclosure of data, the OAIC also revealed in its sweep that 27 percent of businesses did not indicate whether personal information would be shared with third parties.
The OAIC found that some organisations did not make it clear what information would be collected, reporting that it was unclear whether a username, address, phone number, date of birth, phone, or browsing history was stored by over a third of the businesses whose privacy communications were looked into.
Overall, the global sweep found that about 72 percent of businesses did not clearly explain how a user could delete their personal data from the device or app, with 38 percent of devices also failing to provide easily identifiable contact details that customers could use if they had privacy concerns.
Gartner recently predicted that by the end of 2017, there will be 8.4 billion connected "things", and 20.4 billion IoT devices expected to be deployed by 2020.