Consumers Lack Confidence in IoT Device Security


A new report finds that two-thirds of consumers and almost 80 percent of organizations support government-set IoT guidelines.

Smart phone with Internet of things (IoT) word and objects iconDigital security firm Gemalto has released its “State of IoT Security” report and the results should concern IoT device manufacturers and service providers.

It found that consumers and businesses alike have little confidence in IoT security. Ninety percent of consumers said they had no confidence, and 75 percent said they support government mandated security guidelines for the IoT. 80 percent of businesses said they also support such guidelines.

“With legislation like GDPR showing that governments are beginning to recognize the threats and long-lasting damage cyberattacks can have on everyday lives, they now need to step up when it comes to IoT security. Until there is confidence in IoT amongst businesses and consumers, it won’t see mainstream adoption,” Jason Hart, CTO, Data Protection at Gemalto told Credit Union Times.

Losing control of IoT devices

The respondent’s main fear (75 percent) was having hackers take control of their devices. 60 percent said leaked data was their biggest concern, and 54 percent said it was having their personal info stolen. The IoT’s growing popularity was evident with 54 percent of consumers saying they owned at least one IoT device, but only 14 percent said they were knowledgeable about the security of their devices.

[ Related: Could We Finally Have a Secure IoT, Courtesy of the NSA? ]

Businesses overwhelmingly favor government regulations dictating who is responsible for IoT device security and data at each stage of manufacturing, sale, and use. 61 percent said they support this., and 96 percent of them and 90 percent of consumers said they were waiting for government enforced IoT security regulations.

Lack of spending to secure IoT devices

To back up the need for such regulations, the survey reported that IoT device makers and service providers spend just 11 percent of their budget on security, yet half said they do recognize the importance of security and have adopted a security by design approach. 75 percent of businesses said they use encryption as their main security method, with 62 percent saying they encrypt data as it reaches their devices, and 59 percent as it leaves. Security can be profitable: 92 percent of companies said they saw an increase in sales after implementing IoT security protocols.

[ Related: Ways to Secure Your Internet of Things ]

Other insights include the following:

  • Most organizations (96 percent) and consumers (90 percent) believe there is a need for IoT security regulations, and want government involvement.
  • A hacker controlling IoT devices is the most common concern for consumers (65 percent), while six in ten (60 percent) worry about theft of their data.
  • More than two-thirds (67 percent) of businesses encrypt all data captured or stored via IoT devices.

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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