The biggest concerns with IoT (the Internet of Things) are different depending on who you ask. From a consumer standpoint, their biggest concern is privacy. Access to consumer data could reveal voice recordings, movements, weight, and even eating habits of the home’s inhabitants. Businesses have similar concerns, however the data involved isn’t about the business, it’s about the customers.
As a result, IoT’s biggest risk is on the customer, both by using the IoT devices and interacting with businesses using the technology. Even though 59 percent of US consumers fear that their internet-connected products could be used as part of a cyber-attack, use of IoT security solutions is still rare. This trend alone is concerning, that billions of products connect to the internet every year, yet internet security is still a fringe issue.
Business IoT Growth Should Improve Consumer Security
Because the businesses using connected devices have a responsibility to protect their clients’ information, or face economic losses, IoT security should improve as business use grows. According to a Gartner report, there are currently around 7 billion consumer IoT units installed worldwide. By comparison, there are around 4 billion business IoT units in use in the world. The number of business IoT devices is expected to grow to about 7.5 billion by 2020. With this growth, the projected 12.8 billion consumer connected devices in 2020 should implement better security features as well.
Along with business applications, public uses of IoT could speed up the innovation for securing these devices. If a city’s infrastructure depends on connectivity, the stakes are extremely high for keeping the system secure and online.
How Should You Look at IOT: Is It Good or Bad?
Should you avoid IoT? The answer is probably no. While there are some glaring security and privacy concerns, the convenience these devices can provide is massive. There are arguments from both sides, for and against. This talk by Dr. Mazlan Abbas explains the many advantages to more connection. Within the current framework of smart devices, if you use your device but focus on not sharing sensitive information, the convenience may outweigh any privacy concerns.