It's time to stop ignoring IoT security

It's time to stop ignoring IoT security

Smart homes and smart cities will likely be top of mind in conversations around the Internet of Things (IoT), but the application of IoT is becoming far more widespread than these two areas as a growing number of industries adopt IoT devices.

In fact, Gartner has claimed there will be 20.8 billion IoT devices in use by 2020 and according to GE, Industrial IoT could be a $225 billion market by 2020, encompassing everything from the smallest of environmental sensors to vast industrial robots.

But this IoT boom is bringing a new set of challenges with it, not least of all around digital security.

Manufacturers of IoT devices have long focused on innovation during development instead of security, resulting in a raft of devices which have barely any security built in. Whilst organisations installing them have historically chosen to focus on securing just the traditional enterprise network, and not paid attention to the new devices being attached to it.

However, due to the lack of security built into IoT products, hackers are increasingly seeing these internet connected devices, whether they are coffee makers, webcams or manufacturing robots as the jumping off point for far greater attacks.

Organisations need to take the initiative to treat each new IoT installation as a new network end point, taking the same approach to securing it as they would do with a laptop issued to a new employee. If they fail to do this they run the risk of creating an entire series of unsecured backdoors into their organisations network. But with a growing number of IoT related hacks now hitting the headlines organisations can’t afford to take a backseat with their security.