The mobile Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses much more than smartphones. It includes machine-to-machine (M2M) modules—such as wearables—autonomous cars and mobile-connected tablets. This vast worldwide network is growing at an unprecedented pace. The Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2016–2021 reports that there will be 11.6 billion mobile-connected devices by 2021, including M2M modules, and nearly three-quarters of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart.”
As the number of connected things has grown, so has the determination of cybercriminals to exploit them. Businesses might not think about the cybersecurity settings of their photocopiers, for instance, yet 2016”s Mirai malware used hundreds of thousands of IoT devices to create a botnet that took down popular proxy server Dyn and, with it, nearly one third of websites globally.