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IoT to play a part in more than a quarter of cyber attacks by 2020, says Gartner

Gartner predicts IoT security spending will be moderate until 2020, after which it will increase at a faster rate as execution improves

More than 25% cyber attacks will involve the internet of things (IoT) by 2020, according to technology research firm Gartner.

And yet, researchers claimed IoT would account for less than 10% of IT security budgets and, as a result, security suppliers would have little incentive to provide usable IoT security features.

They also said the decentralised approach to early IoT implementations in organisations would result in too little focus on security.

Suppliers will focus too much on spotting vulnerabilities and exploits, rather than segmentation and other long-term means that better protect IoT, according to Gartner.

“The effort of securing IoT is expected to focus more and more on the management, analytics and provisioning of devices and their data,” said Gartner research director Ruggero Contu.

“IoT business scenarios will require a delivery mechanism that can also grow and keep pace with requirements in monitoring, detection, access control and other security needs,” he added.

According to Contu, the future of cloud-based security services is, in part, linked with the future of the IoT.

“The IoT’s fundamental strength in scale and presence will not be fully realised without cloud-based security services to deliver an acceptable level of operation for many organisations in a cost-effective manner,” he said.

Gartner predicted that by 2020, at least half of all IoT implementations would use some form of cloud-based security service.

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Although overall spending will initially be moderate, Gartner predicted that IoT security market spending would increase at a faster rate after 2020, as improved skills, organisational change and more scalable service options improved execution.

Gartner predicted global spending on IoT security would reach $348m in 2016 – just 23.7% up compared with 2015 – $433.95m in 2017 and $547m in 2018.

“The market for IoT security products is currently small, but it is growing as both consumers and businesses start using connected devices in ever greater numbers,” said Contu.

“Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up by 30% from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion units by 2018. However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritisation and security awareness,” he said.

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Only 25%? Seems like it would be a bit higher given competing security standards and a low technological entry threshold to IoT.
Unlike computers or smartphones, a majority of IoT devices (like smart coffee machines, HVAC systems or personal wearable devices that connect to a company smartphone) are unable (or not designed) to run anti-malware software due to the lack of an operating system or the infrastructure needed to support such applications – and yet all of these devices can connect to a business network and create almost limitless entry points for a cyber attack. Now is the time for businesses and government agencies to take a proactive approach in securing their network: deception-based technology that detects threats inside the network is available today and is used to reveal the presence of attacks in real time, which is critically important in combatting zero day and other attacks that not only can slip into a network through any one of these insecure IoT devices but also slip by antivirus and other prevention systems already implemented.