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article imageInternet of Things grows, as does cycbersecurity risks

By Tim Sandle     Sep 25, 2017 in Technology
The latest Verizon's State of the Market: Internet of Things report highlights a series of cybersecurity concerns as more and more devices become connected.
One of the key messages from Verizon's latest "State of the Market: Internet of Things" report is that with the estimated 8.4 billion connected devices (which represents a 31 percent increase on 2016), there is a lack of industry-wide standards for Internet of Things devices and this should be giving businesses major security concerns. The operative word here is "should", because many businesses are simply unaware of the vulnerabilities.
The Internet of Things is not only important for businesses in terms of the number of connected devices; it also represents a significant proportion of the economy, being valued by Verizon at $2 trillion in terms of technology purchases that are or can be connected.
IoT opportunities
Other findings from the report are:
The Internet of Things is at the core of digital transformation for business. It’s changing the playing field for business in every industry—helping to increase operational efficiency and fuel new growth.
Organizations have so far focused on simple use cases to track data and send status alerts. But, in 2017, Internet of Things has become enterprise-grade.
Internet of Things platforms are providing a single environment for developing and managing applications. New low-power networks are enabling organizations to deploy Internet of Things quicker—helping lower costs.
The Internet of Things is important for businesses; not only does it have the potential for creating and selling useful devices, it also provides a platform from which to monitor how people and businesses react with technology and it provides a steady stream of data.
Security risks
However, there are things that businesses need to be aware of and, as the Verizon report points, out security vulnerabilities is one of them. To demonstrate this the BBC recently described a case study about a U.S. hospital.
A review conducted by Hussein Syed, who is the chief information security officer for the largest health provider in New Jersey, found 30,000 computers, 300 apps, a data center, as well as all the mobile phones hooking up to the hospitals' WiFi networks across thirteen hospitals. Add to this devices used by visitors and staff, the total came to 70,000 Internet-enabled devices accessing the health firm's network.
According to Syed: "We found a lot of things we were not aware of, systems that weren't registered with IT and which didn't meet our security standards." Vulnerable devices included security cameras and uninterruptible power supplies. Syed's concern was that "these unidentified devices could definitely have been access points for hackers who could have then found high-value assets on our network."
Such security reviews are important for complex businesses where the Internet of Things is growing, and the findings offer opportunities for business developing connected devices to add stronger security protocols.
More about Verizon, internet of things, connected devices
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