IoT Ecosystems, Not Just Devices, Need Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) movement has been underway since the first mobile device connected to a wireless network, but its momentum in the global enterprise space today is leaps and bounds beyond where it was a decade ago, and is just the beginning of what’s to come over the next five to 10 years.

What’s slowing its growth, and in some cases being pushed aside altogether, is how all those endpoints – which in themselves include sub-endpoints – are being secured and protecting sensitive information from hackers.

“Confidentiality and integrity of data and systems can be compromised at any point of time by hackers attacking the connected ecosystem,” Frost & Sullivan wrote in a recent report about cybersecurity’s need for new technologies when considering the IoT approach. “These security breaches could lead to significant costs for enterprises by disrupting services thereby reducing satisfaction for customers and hampering brand image. Security challenges often faced by organizations include lack of security standards, lack of comprehensive security solution to mitigate threats, and lack of cross platform security technology.”

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, research firm Gartner projected a total of $348 billion would be spent on IoT security spending in the enterprise in 2016, a 23.7% increase over the year prior. Predictions showed an expected 24.6% increase from 2016 to 2017, and 2018’s figure ballooning to more than half a trillion dollars at $547.2 billion.

Gartner also predicted that by 2020, more than a quarter of attacks in the enterprise will involve Internet of Things, while IoT security budgets won’t account for more than 10 percent of total IT spend.

“The lack of secured integrated system for cross industry applicability is hindering the adoption of (IoT),” said Frost & Sullivan’s Swapnadeep Nayak. “The future Internet of Everything is expected to leverage a common secure cloud infrastructure with a unified application programming interface (API) for all application sectors.”

On the solution provider side of the discussion, IoT security assets and the companies who create them are beginning to generate steam and gain traction. Case in point goes to a recent announcement that ZingBox raised $22 million in a funding series to move its solution forward. ZingBox isn’t alone, of course, as market predictions show a 34.4% CAGR between 2017 and 2022, topping a $29 billion market value in the next half decade.

The reason behind that growth comes down to increasing ransomware attacks on IoT systems, securing the “ubiquitous environment,” and an increasing need for data-centric security. Much of that growth is expected to take place in the North America region.

Are you concerned about the need to secure IoT in the enterprise? Is it on your IT team’s priority list?