UK analyst firm Juniper Research has suggested that IoT devices will see a 200 percent increase from 2016 to 2021.
Driven in part by a reduction in the unit cost of hardware, Juniper Research has forecast that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to expand rapidly in the coming years. Juniper’s latest report, The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2016-2021, predicts that the industrial and public sectors will see the highest IoT growth in the build-up to 2021, with a year-on-year average rise of 24 percent.
This steady rise will take the number of IoT devices in use in 2021 to 48 billion.
With scale comes complexity
The author of the report, Juniper’s Steffen Sorrell, noted that for many businesses looking to harness the IoT, the technical architecture isn’t in place to accommodate huge growth number of ‘Things’ and the data they will be producing. “The platform landscape is flourishing”, he said. “However, analytics and database systems are, for the most part, not architected to handle the Big Data 2.0 era that the IoT brings”. To that end, Juniper identified key areas where disruption is needed, such as spatiotemporal analytics and intelligent systems able to run on less powerful machines (eg routers).
The Juniper report identifies several areas where disruption is needed, including spatiotemporal analytics and intelligent systems able to run on less powerful machines.
Speaking exclusively to Internet of Business, David Mount, director of security solutions consulting EMEA at software firm Micro Focus, said that the impact of poor planning is there for all to see. “Looking at the Internet of Things in 2017 is like standing on the edge of a precipice. We have no idea what’s down there or how deep it is; it’s the unknown,” he said.
“When it comes to IoT security, people simply aren’t aware of the potential impact poor planning could have. The lack of security we’re talking about here is basic – hardcoding passwords into devices then publishing them, for example – but it is putting the entire internet at risk. As the IoT DDoS attacks at the end of 2016 have demonstrated, a relatively small number of compromised IoT devices can be used to execute extremely significant attacks.”
Juniper Research: Cyber security requires collaboration
Unsurprisingly, Juniper’s research highlighted the fact that the potential for security threats in the IoT is widening. With a huge increase in devices expected, the threats posed to businesses and individuals are yet to be eased by increased security measures or widespread collaboration. Although IoT-powered DDoS attacks have been well documented in recent months, the security of personal and corporate data will be the long-term targets for nefarious hackers.
Writing for providers of semiconductor cryptography, Rambus, senior director of product management Asaf Ashkenazi argues that going forwards IoT security needs to be prioritized, not simply added on as an afterthought.
“Treating security as a primary design parameter rather than a tertiary afterthought is certainly an approach that is long overdue for a very vulnerable Internet of Things. As more and more ‘things’ connect to the Internet, the danger of nefarious attackers exploiting unsecured devices looms ever larger.”
“Building hardware that incorporates hardened security features would see devices protected throughout their lifecycle from chip manufacture to day-to-day deployment, to decommissioning.”
Juniper’s report found that enterprise and industry are investing heavily in security for the IoT, while the consumer market landscape is “woeful”. The research argues that regulatory, corporate and media collaboration are needed in order to make the IoT safer.