Despite the widespread acceptance that the Internet of Things has the potential to transform industries and revolutionise many aspects of our day-to-day lives, the issue of how best to harness this emerging capability is yet to be resolved completely.
A Quocirca report, compiled from the thoughts of 100 senior UK IT managers, suggests that alongside the security concerns raised by the prospect of an interconnected Internet of Things, network stress and the sheer volume of data will pose significant challenges to organisations over the next 12 months.
The study, commissioned by IT security firm Neustar, states that while scaling capability out to many thousands of devices clearly offers a host of new opportunities for any organisation, the same security rigor and vigilance applied to traditional IT devices needs to be extended to all connected things. Countless connected devices will bring with them a mountain of data, in a volume spike likely to overload networks unprepared for the changes to come, posing significant risks to security.
Key findings and statistics from the report include:
- Relevance: A small number (3 percent) think the IoT is overhyped, but the overwhelming majority say the IoT is already impacting their organisation (37 percent) or will soon (45 percent).
- Personal to global: Respondents believe the IoT is expected to scale-up through vehicles, buildings and cities to a national and global level. Management and security capabilities put in place to support IoT must operate at these scales.
- Design: Effective management and security is only possible through good design. 66 percent of respondents see IoT deployment through a series of hubs that interoperate with spokes on closed networks.
- Security: Security starts with identity. 47 percent or respondents are already scanning IoT devices for vulnerabilities, another 29 percent are planning to do so. When asked about the capabilities they feel are most important for authenticating the identity of devices, nearly all see DNS services as playing an important role. More experienced users supplement these with third party registry and IoT database services.
Hank Skorney, SVP of Internet of Things at Neustar, suggests that IoT deployment should consist of a series of hubs which interoperate on closed networks. This will allow for more straightforward configuration and tighter, more manageable security.
He said “the new UK-focused research contained in this report highlights that businesses looking to deploy IoT should consider a decentralised security and management model, as this would have the combined effect of reducing data volumes and relieving the considerable strain on networks”.
The full report from Quocirca can be read here.