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No 21 | November 2017 |




emalto (Amsterdam, The

Netherlands), a leader in digital

security solutions, revealed that

90% of consumers lack confidence in

the security of Internet of Things (IoT)

devices. This comes as more than two

thirds of consumers and almost 80%

of organisations support governments

getting involved in setting IoT security.

“It’s clear that both consumers and

businesses have serious concerns around

IoT security and little confidence that IoT

service providers and device manufacturers

will be able to protect IoT devices and more

importantly the integrity of the data created,

stored and transmitted by these devices,”

said Jason Hart, CTO, data protection at

Gemalto. “With legislation like GDPR show-

ing that governments are beginning to rec-

ognise the threats and long-lasting damage

cyber-attacks can have on everyday lives,

they now need to step up when it comes

to IoT security. Until there is confidence

in IoT amongst businesses and consum-

ers, it won’t see mainstream adoption.”

The current state of

play in IoT security

Consumers’ main fear (cited by two

thirds of respondents) is hackers taking

control of their device. In fact, this was

more of a concern than their data being

leaked (60%) and hackers accessing their

personal information (54%). Despite more

than half (54%) of consumers owning

an IoT device (on average two), just 14%

believe that they are extremely knowledge-

able when it comes to the security of these

devices, showing education is needed

among both consumers and businesses.

In terms of the level of investment in

security, the survey found that IoT device

manufacturers and service providers

spend just 11% of their total IoT budget

on securing their IoT devices. The study

found that these companies do recognise

the importance of protecting devices and

the data they generate or transfer with

50% of companies adopting a security

by design approach. Two-thirds (67%) of

organisations report encryption as their

main method of securing IoT assets with

62% encrypting the data as soon as it

reaches their IoT device, while 59% as it

leaves the device. 92% of companies also

see an increase in sales or product usage

after implementing IoT security measures.

Support for IoT security

regulations gains traction

According to the survey, businesses are

in favour of regulations to make it clear who

is responsible for securing IoT devices and

data at each stage of its journey (61%) and

the implications of non- compliance (55%).

In fact, almost every organisation (96%)

and consumer (90%) is looking for gov-

ernment-enforced IoT security regulation.

Encouragingly, businesses are realising

that they need support in understanding

IoT technology and are turning to part-

ners to help, with cloud service providers

(52%) and IoT service providers (50%) the

favoured options. When asked why, the

top reason was a lack of expertise and skills

(47%), followed by help in facilitating and

speeding up their IoT deployment (46%).

While these partnerships may be benefit-

ing businesses in adopting IoT, organisa-

tions admitted they don’t have complete

control over the data that IoT products or

services collect as it moves from partner to

partner, potentially leaving it unprotected.

“The lack of knowledge among both

the business and consumer worlds is quite

worrying and it’s leading to gaps in the IoT

ecosystem that hackers will exploit,” Hart

continues. “Within this ecosystem, there are

four groups involved – consumers, manu-

facturers, cloud service providers and third

parties – all of which have a responsibility

to protect the data. ‘Security by design’ is

the most effective approach to mitigate

against a breach. Furthermore, IoT devices

are a portal to the wider network and failing

to protect them is like leaving your door

wide open for hackers to walk in. Until

both sides increase their knowledge of how

to protect themselves and adopt industry

standard approaches, IoT will continue to be

a treasure trove of opportunity for hackers.”

IoT security will be a major issue for manufacturers, consumers, cloud service providers and third

parties (photo:

Trust is key

Gemalto survey confirms that consumers lack confidence in IoT device security