The Future of IoT: Our Responsibility to Take Action

The global IoT market size is currently estimated to be worth $295 billion as of 2020, with an annual growth rate of 30.3%. This means by 2025, the market will be worth almost $1.6 trillion!

The IoT industry is growing rapidly, and does not show any sign of slowing down. IoT devices are being deployed in almost every industry and are transforming the way businesses operate. According to Forbes Insights, “60% of enterprises are, with the help of their IoT initiatives, expanding or transforming with new lines of business.” Devices are being implemented in our homes, on gas and oil rigs, traffic lights, medical devices, and many other cases. These devices such as smart locks, sensors, and cameras are designed to make the world we live in smarter, and in turn make our lives easier.

The Growth of IoT is Astounding…or is it?

The capabilities of IoT devices and the continued innovation comes with an incredible amount of benefits for both individuals and society. So what’s the issue?

Unfortunately, 98% of IoT device traffic is completely unsecured. Billions of IoT devices are connected to “secure” networks, but each individual device creates a weak link in the security of the entire network. This is because these small devices do not have the memory space or processing power to house standard security and encryption, such as AES-256.

Malicious activity on even one device can be catastrophic, and has the ability to collapse entire communication systems. This threat comes with a hefty price tag, and on average a data breach in the U.S. costs $8,190,000. On a more positive note, there are actions that can be taken by both individuals and corporations to mitigate the risks that come with IoT devices. So who’s responsible for the security of these devices? The answer is everyone. CEO’s, developers, manufacturers, and customers are all responsible in some shape or form for the security of these devices. There is a responsibility to initially secure devices and also make sure they’re being used in a responsible and proper way by end users. To unlock the vast amount of benefits that come with IoT devices, security must be on the forefront of design.

Reduce Risks and Build Trust as A Decision Maker

Let’s set the scene. It is no doubt an exciting time to be a player in a high growth industry. The future of IoT looks great, and your company has an amazing product or service that solves the need of your customers. The product is deployed and are all connected to secure networks. Until… they’re not. Take a look at the first few minutes of this Ted Talk and you can see just how vulnerable these devices are (examples at timestamp 2:00, 4:40, 7:45, 10:36). Unsecured devices connected to secure networks creates a gateway to a vast amount of data and information on the network.

It is astounding that even years after this Ted Talk, there is still a pressing issue with the security of these devices. The purpose of this video is not to instill the same message of fear of inaction. Rather it’s a reminder to examine what your company stands for and why the company exists. Technology continues to advance, but those who think of their customers first and those who want to build a trusted brand will see the importance of securing these devices.

It is a perfect time to shift the paradigm of IoT security. Implementing security in the design of the product will not only reduce corporate liability risks, but also create trust in the brand and may lead to a competitive advantage.

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