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article imageInterview: IoT expansion could lead to more cyber-attacks Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 31, 2018 in Business
The total market investment in IoT will hit $5.1 billion by 2022, up from the current $1.44 billion. To understand where this spend will go and what the security implications are, Digital Journal spoke with Vaughan Emery is the CEO of Atonomi.
The latest "Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies for Process Manufacturing: Global Markets Report" forecasts considerable market growth. The report indicates that this massive increase will see the growth of auxiliary IoT industries, as well as the number of connected IoT devices.
To date, adequate security solutions for the IoT have been notably lacking, and resulted in a numerous hacks, and preventing the IoT from reaching its full capability. To understand the implications, Digital Journal caught up with Vaughan Emery, who is the CEO of Atonomi, the arm of CENTRI technology.
Atonomi use blockchain technology to assign IoT devices with immutable identities to prevent hackers gaining access to them.
DJ: What are the main issues facing businesses today?
Vaughan Emery: The main issue I see facing businesses today is how to achieve operational efficiency through digitalization. As our world continues the trend towards increased connectivity, securing the Internet of Things has become a high-level priority for enterprises to protect the underlying infrastructure that supports the exchange of data and analytics.
DJ: What complexities does the digital landscape add?
Emery: Cybersecurity is by far the largest complexity that comes with the digital landscape and the rapidly connecting world. If we can’t find a cybersecurity solution for IoT, than we will collectively lose the opportunity to benefit from the full potential of IoT.
DJ: How important is the Internet of Things for businesses?
Emery: There is no single technology on the horizon that is more important to business than IoT. IoT can create the realization of big data, giving businesses additional insight into operations and procedures that they’ve never been able to get before. With this access to big data, businesses can more efficiently streamline their processes and create more strategic methods for achieving their goals.
DJ: How real are cyber threats?
Emery: To date, every single person that is part of the connected world has been affected by a fairly significant data breach in the recent past - demonstrating just how real cyber threats are. As the economics behind such attacks becomes more obvious to cyber criminals, the threat becomes bigger, and more paramount, urging the need for a viable solution.
DJ: Is the Internet of Things especially vulnerable to cyber-attacks?
Emery: The Internet of Things is particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to its autonomous nature. As devices began to operate without human intervention, they become more vulnerable to hacks because there is no third party to oversee that every device is verified, validated, and secure.
DJ: Where do most of these threats come from?
Emery: Most of the threats come from organized crime, nation states, and individuals with an interest and desire to disrupt. The persistence and motivation behind these attacks is something that should not be underestimated.
DJ: What can businesses best do to protect themselves? Is blockchain a solution?
Emery: Diligence, training, and cybersecurity technology are all elements that can better protect businesses from cyber threats. However, I believe that blockchain is a standout solution to provide businesses with the security they need to protect themselves - which is why we created Atonomi.
DJ: What services does Atonomi provide?
Emery: Atonomi is enabling the next-generation cyber security platform for the Internet of Things through device identity, trust and reputation. Atonomi is seeking to change the logic that “anonymity should come first” to create an environment where all devices can be known and trusted.
DJ: Which types of businesses do you work with?
Emery: Atonomi works with IoT solution providers - essentially anyone in the ecosystem of delivering IoT devices, and IoT solutions. These are the types of businesses we are looking to partner with to implement a blockchain-based security protocol.
DJ: As a final question, which types of technology most interest you?
Emery: Blockchain is definitely the technology that stands at the forefront of innovation. The potential of blockchain is vast - even in its infancy - and although there are many challenges that still need to be overcome, the prospect of decentralization and consensus in business is extremely exciting.
More about market investment, internet of things, conencted, Atonomi