The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing serious security concerns for enterprises worldwide with few companies capable of securing them as they are unable to identify devices properly, according to new research.
On Wednesday, ForeScout Technologies revealed the results of a new survey into the challenges IoT poses for the enterprise.
The survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting, suggests that IoT and operational technology (OT) are having a serious impact on the way businesses conduct themselves today — and pose a huge risk due to a lack of information and appropriate security practices.
Connected consumer devices have captured the attention of the media, but the market for the Internet of Things (IoT) in enterprise and industrial sectors is poised be much larger—around $300 billion annually by 2020 compared to half that for consumer technology, according to research by Bain & Company.
Industrial applications for the Internet of Things may not be as visible in most people’s daily lives, but they are typically more complex than those in the consumer realm. Many industrial applications operate large physical devices, and failure carries greater risk. Consider robotic arms in an automotive factory or valves in an oil refinery. The technology operates in real-time and it cannot simply stop operating without serious safety consequences. “Blue screens” are just not acceptable in industrial environments.
With the IoT market on track to reach $800 billion this year and more than 2 billion connected devices already in the wild, it’s no surprise that Internet of Things (IoT) security is now a top priority for cutting-edge enterprises. The challenge? Actually making inroads. While updating stock passwords and improving employee education are helping deflect entry-level attacks, widespread distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and botnet incidents are on the rise. It begs the question: Is better digital device defense possible, or is IoT insecurity inevitable?
Three quarters of all Internet of Things (IoT) projects are “failing”, according to Cisco’s Australian CTO Kevin Bloch, primarily because they have been designed to solve individual problems, and have become siloed and unsupported as a result.
“The inaugural phase of IoT is characterised by numerous point solutions from a multitude of new — often startup — vendors. Typically, these solutions have been designed to solve a particular societal problem such as lighting or parking. In each case, a complete IT stack needs to be built in support of the solution,” Bloch explained.
“Eventually, customers find themselves with multiple siloes from multiple vendors that don’t interoperate, are not cybersecure, use different protocols, and generate more complexity at greater cost.”