KEY POINTS:

  • Research has repeatedly shown that many IoT devices currently on the market lack basic security measures like data encryption, which leaves them vulnerable to hackers. 
  • Hackers can leverage compromised IoT devices for an array of criminal acts, creating a large incentive for hackers to attack these devices as they proliferate. 
  • As these new connected devices become more widespread over the next few years, it will lead to increased investment in IoT security. We predict that $118 billion will be spent on securing IoT devices and systems between 2015 and 2020. 
  • A combination of different measures can be used to protect IoT devices from being compromised or used as an entry point to infiltrate government or corporate networks. The measures are based on the individual device's computing capabilities and the networks it communicates with.

A new cyber threat

Cybersecurity Market Annual ForecastBI Intelligence

Cybersecurity has become a major concern over the last few years as hackers have penetrated the IT infrastructure of governments and enterprises with increasing frequency and sophistication. The growth of the IoT takes this concern to a whole new level: When everything is connected to the internet, everything becomes a potential target for hackers. It means hackers can use newly connected devices to gain entry and take control of government and enterprise networks. 

This new problem was brought to the public's attention with a string of connected car hacks this summer. These hacks show how connected devices could be exploited to cause physical damage. In the most highly publicized of these hacks, two security researchers were able to remotely take command of a Jeep's steering and transmission while the car was traveling at 70 miles per hour on the highway.

Beyond these connected car hacks, security researchers have found a wide range of vulnerabilities in other common IoT devices, including wearables and smart home devices. Simply put, IoT device manufacturers and systems providers have too often failed to take the necessary precautions to secure products, despite the high risks in connecting these devices. 

In this report, [...]