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Security is the way to monetise IoT

The advice coming out of the Web Summit in Portugal is that security is the way to make some revenues out of IoT

The channel has been taking a close look at the rise of IoT and working out just where the opportunity lies for resellers trying to make revenues out of the trend.

Some have gone down the road of selling the kit, with a growing number of distributors stocking wearables and smart home technology, and there have been some attempts to pitch the need to update infrastructure to cope with the increased strain of more devices connecting.

But increasingly it is looking like the most obvious entry point is around security. Thanks to the recent incident where IoT devices were used in a denial of service attack the issue is firmly on the agenda.

Some of the great and good of the internet world have been meeting this week in portugal at the Web Summit and among them has been Greenwave Systems’ chief scientist and technology evangelist Jim Hunter.

Hunter has been warning that unless the security side of IoT is sorted out it could hold back wider adoption of the technology.

In some respects it is a similar situation to cloud, which saw low user adoption for the first few years because of security worries around the integrity of the data being stored offsite.

“When you’re looking at how to monetize, you should find the value in what makes people tick – consumers want to be safe, secure and have their basic needs met,” said Hunter. “From that perspective, the value is in shoring up the bottom line and the smart home has its roots in security for that very reason.”

Hunter said that the current situation had plenty of historical precedents and the industry had been here before and managed to work out how to monetise the technology.

“The PC industry, for example, didn’t fully take off until software enabled people to be more creative, productive and better connected. The mobile industry was the same – there were a lot of walled gardens until Apple created the App Store," he said.
“We went from millions of opportunities with the PC industry to billions of opportunities with mobile, and from complicated, large-scale applications to smaller, more digestible solutions. The Internet of Things is a continuation of that, but with trillions of devices," he added.

Hunter is not on his own making security warnings and at the end of last month Check Point put together its predictions of what will be making waves next year and placed IoT squarely on that top five.

"In the coming year, we expect to see cyberattacks spreading into the Industrial IoT. The convergence of informational technology and operational technology is making environments more vulnerable, particularly the operational technology or SCADA environments," stated the vendor in a blog post.

"These environments often run legacy systems for which patches are either not available, or worse, simply not used. Manufacturing, as an industry, will need to extend both systems and physical security controls to a logical place and implement threat prevention solutions across both IT and OT environments," the firm added.

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