Access and Feeds

IoT: Fast Growth too Focused on Features and not Security

By Dick Weisinger

IoT devices are rich in top technology features but poor in security.

A recent survey from Ponemon and Shared Assessments found that:

  • 84 percent of companies expect that IoT devices will cause their business to have a data breach.
  • 26 percent of organizations report already having an IoT-related data breach

Why are they considered insecure? Some of the reasons why are as follows:

  • Each IoT device represents an endpoint that leads into the company’s network. To be secure, every endpoint needs to be managed, something many businesses don’t prioritize highly.
  • Manufacturers have had little incentive to build security into their devices because of the added cost, and often if there is internal security, it needs to be properly configured which may not happen.
  • IoT devices are often deployed with default security and admin credential settings, making them easy targets for hackers.
  • Most IoT devices lack reporting, so it is difficult to monitor or track any abusive behavior.

Ted Harrington, executive partner at Independent Security Evaluators, said that “some manufacturers are starting to prioritize better security. But the industry is growing so fast that these incremental gains are being vastly outpaced by the overall lack of progress in the hugely expanding pool of market players.”

Larry Trowell, principal consultant at Synopsys, said that “the more the spotlight shines on the flaws, the fewer flaws there will be. It’s important that security professionals explain why these things are important, and also how to fix them. If we only do one of these two tasks, nothing will ever get done.”

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