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Internet of Things Security Research: Hacks, Breaches Are Costing Companies

With each Internet of Things (IoT) device that is built to make our lives easier, we are opening the door just a little bit wider to attackers looking to exploit weak security areas.

The latest evidence: According to new survey data recently released by strategy consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company, these devices are being utilized to breach company security. Victims, in turn, face rising costs to clean up the IoT security mess.

Internet of Things Security Survey: Companies at Risk

The survey, which polled around 400 IT executives, revealed that 48 percent of the firms have already dealt with an IoT security breach. The cost of these breaches translated into about 13 percent of a company’s annual revenue. For companies that have not experienced a breach from IoT devices, the company has invested 65% more on IoT-specific security.

There seems to be a disconnect between the perceived threat of IoT security, and action taken towards mitigating that threat. Indeed, 68 percent of the respondents claimed that they believe IoT security is a specific category of security, yet only 43 percent have a stand-alone budget for it. So, while many firms realize the importance of securing IoT devices, many are still not allocating the appropriate dollars to help prevent it.

Firms will need to weigh the potential cost of a breach to help them decide on an appropriate budget for IoT security. The more devices within a company the higher the budget for IoT security should be, as each device provides it’s own access point into the network.

IoT Security and Device Considerations

As companies consider various IoT device implementations, security concerns also must factor into the decision. Since an IoT device sometimes lacks a screen, potential threats can go “unseen.” Less expensive devices can get the job done but could have lax security, and would, therefore, be more of a risk than a more expensive device with stronger security.

The study showed that there are 3 main reasons firms are taking IoT security more seriously.

  • Prevent loss of control over IoT devices
  • Prevent breaches of customer information
  • Prevent breaches of company data

The ease of use for IoT devices makes them extremely attractive for firms to implement. I would not be surprised if the survey was conducted again next year and more than half of the firms will have had an IoT security breach. From the survey results, this seems clear: Companies that invest in security seem to have lower incidents of known IoT security breaches…

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