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IoT market set for steady growth as consumer take-up increases

The Internet of Things is set to disrupt the way we live and work, and in the home market a range of products are being marketed to attract the attention of consumers. This is coupled with growing consumer acceptance of new technologies for the home. The number of smart home devices shipped will grow from 83 million in 2015 to 193 million in 2020, according to Business Insider.

The study is built as the largest study of its kind to date, and it is titled “All Things Considered”. The research explores the global distribution, vendor diversity, and security posture of Internet of Things devices. The lead co-authors were Avast’s Head of AI Rajarshi Gupta and Stanford Assistant Professor of Computer Science Zakir Durumeric.

To derive at the main conclusions, the researchers collected data relating to 83 million devices in 16 million homes (15.5 million globally and 1 million from the U.S). These data were used to assess: Device distribution, IoT distribution, vendor landscape and vulnerabilities in home devices.

In terms of the key findings, the study shows that North America continues to have the highest density of Internet of Things devices of any region, with 66 percent of homes possessing at least one Internet of Things device, compared to the global average of 40 percent. For western Europe, the rate was around 50 percent.

In terms of coverage, it also stands that 25 percent of homes in North America have more than two devices.

With games consoles, the leading manufacturers are: Microsoft, Nintendo, Azurewave, Sony, and Honhai (in descending order); with media devices, the leading companies are: Roku, Amazon, Samsung, Apple and Google; and with routers, the top firms are: Arris, Cisco, Sagem, Actiontec, and TP-Link.

Another finding relates to the number of companies investing in new technologies. While many companies are investing or where startups are being launched, the overall distribution of production remains heavily skewed. Although there are an estimated 14,000 Internet of Things manufacturers worldwide, 94 percent of all Internet of Things devices are manufactured by just 100 vendors.

The survey also dives into cybersecurity. While many devices do meet expect levels of security, there are many with obsolete protocols like FTP and Telnet (which extends to millions of devices). It is estimated that around 7 percent of all Internet of Things devices continue to use these outmoded protocols, making them especially vulnerable to cyberattack.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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