IoT in 2017: Why usage is going to grow, despite the security risks

Organisations want to increase investment in IoT to boost efficiency, despite suspicion about what it means for enterprise cybersecurity.
Written by Danny Palmer, Senior Writer

IoT: efficiency booster or boon to hackers?

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Organisations are set to push ahead with increased adoption of Internet of Things devices during 2017, despite widespread concerns about the security of the products and their ability to protect the extra data they're capable of collecting.

While interest in the IoT continues to grow, concerns remain about the inherent lack of security within IoT devices vendors who continue to release products with little or no defence against cyberattacks, hacking, or being hijacked.

The figures, detailed in 451 Research's study, Voice of the Enterprise: Internet of Things (IoT) Organisational Dynamics, suggests that 71 percent of organisations are already gathering IoT data, with many set to increase their spending in the area.

Those who are already running IoT-related schemes expected spending to grow by a third over the next 12 months. Many believe that their enterprise will benefit through the use of networks and infrastructure becoming IoT-enabled, with 42 percent of those surveyed already using newly acquired IoT data to develop new products.

"When it comes to IoT adoption, pragmatism rules," said Laura DiDio, research director at 451 Research and lead author of the study. "Enterprises currently use IoT for practical technology purposes that have an immediate and tangible impact on daily operational business efficiencies, economies of scale and increasing the revenue stream."

However, the security of IoT devices remains very much a concern, with half of respondents revealing that cybersecurity is the top impediment to IoT deployments within the enterprise.

Not only can hackers use Internet of Things products as an easy access point to gain entry to the network, but there's also the prospect they could be hijacked to become part of a botnet or even used to cause physical damage.

Nonetheless, the 1,000 enterprise IT buyers worldwide surveyed by 451 Research indicated that they believed IoT deployments can aid intensive workload activities such as security and data analytics, with 69 percent of respondents saying that they use IoT data to reduce endpoint risks.

But the spike in enthusiasm for connected devices has created an additional problem: a lack of expertise. Almost half of organisations say they're having difficulty filling IoT-related positions, with security and data analytics cited as the areas with the greatest dearth of expertise.

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