Security remains a top concern for IoT executives, but small fixes can shore up ecosystem resilience
66 percent of companies say their c-suite executives are supportive of their IoT implementation, but even with strong support they noted there are hurdles to overcome.
A research, released by Internet of Things World, focused on the top concerns decision makers have related to implementation, employee training, cybersecurity and blockchain, as well as how they plan to overcome them.
According to respondents, the top challenges included: implementing the technology (34 percent), security (25 percent), initial purchase cost (17 percent), scalability (10 percent) and business buy-in (8 percent). Most decision makers were not concerned about the ongoing upkeep costs, with only 3 percent listing it as their top concern.
The top two concerns – implementation and security – go hand in hand. Before any enterprise can implement new IoT technology, companies must do their due diligence on potential security risks, their staff’s readiness to support the new technology and how to properly deploy it.
At the front end of this challenge, 45 percent of companies say they are deploying IoT devices on a dedicated network to mitigate security risk. Additionally, nearly half (46 percent) are introducing internal training systems for their whole workforce, which will improve the efficacy of the devices and limit vulnerability due to an oversight.
Once the devices are successfully deployed, decision makers are focused on maintaining security by doing all of the ‘small’ things right.
To secure their ecosystems, 68 percent of companies say they are regularly updating firmware and software, 43 percent are checking devices to see if physical access makes them vulnerable to hacking, 35 percent are making data decryption a default and 26 percent are shutting down IoT devices when they are not in use.
“Cyber threats come from so many different directions for the modern enterprise,” said Zach Butler, Director, IoT World. “So often the difference between being compromised and being secure is having done the checklist of best practices, like making sure every device has the latest software updates. Our research showed that luckily IoT executives are very aware of this reality.”
In addition to training their whole workforce on best practices, enterprises are focused on building out their technical roles. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of companies say they are planning to train current staff to fill more technical roles, while 62 percent say they are planning to hire additional employees like data analyst roles or another technical title.
While organizations are building out their expertise and constantly exploring new technology, they are also being judicious in which technologies they are implementing. When asked about leveraging blockchain as way to improve ecosystem security, respondents were evenly split between believing blockchain was an effective way to improve security (29 percent) and not seeing a benefit to incorporating it into their ecosystem (29 percent).
5G is another term top of mind within the industry, but less than half of decision maker (41 percent) plan to leverage the technology if it is available to them, instead opting to continue relying on their current wireless network.