The Security Challenge for IoT

Despite being considered a game changer, Internet of Things (IoT) is fraught with serious security issues and with the number of interconnected devices

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IoT is growing at a break-neck pace and the major reasons behind this growth include always-on 24/7 connectivity, connected computing, sensors embedded on everything one can think of, location-based consumer information, supply chain analytics, predictive intelligence, and the rise of the millennials. It is expected that Internet of Things will have far-reaching implications in reshaping the future of the society. So much so, that IDC predicts that “the rate at which IoT is growing, it will soon become as indispensable as the internet itself.”


Good News and Bad News

Internet of Things-enabled smart devices have sensors embedded in them, which allow them to communicate amongst themselves and with humans. In doing so, these devices generate large amounts of data. Considering that, Gartner has predicted the number of IoT devices to reach 21 billion by 2020; the volumes of data generated by these devices will be humongous. Leveraging advanced technologies, such as big data analytics, this data is analyzed to improve business operations, governance, and sustainable development.

That said, the same data can be a potential minefield for businesses globally. This is because with the growing number of IoT devices, the attack surface for cyber threats increases manifold. Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit for financial gains. Smart homes and smart cars specifically, are way too vulnerable to viruses and malware that can even lead to physical harm.


Cyber criminals are armed with the latest tools and technologies to orchestrate massive cyber attacks. Incidents of IoT-based cyber attacks have already begun and a surge of ransom attacks on IoT devices has been observed. In one of its recent surveys, Gartner has revealed that in the last three years, about 20% of the participants had faced at-least one IoT-based attack.

Looking Ahead

To make matters worse, compared with the rising numbers of smart devices, IoT security is still catching up. In fact, we can safely say that IoT security, currently, is non-existent. This is largely due to a lack of industry-standard communication protocols.


In view of this, ensuring IoT security will need a concerted effort from all stakeholders - manufacturers, vendors, governments, and of course the consumers. Advanced technology driven solutions, especially those powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning that use behavior analysis, will play a pivotal role in detecting security threats and attack vectors.

The Article has been Written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant

She can be reached here.

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