Vodafone Downplays IoT Security Fears As Global Adoption Rises

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Vodafone claims just 7 percent of large adopters are worried, despite security being the biggest barrier to adoption

Vodafone’s annual Internet of Things (IoT) survey has downplayed fears about IoT security, claiming just seven percent of organisations with 10,000 or more connecting things are concerned about such threats. 

IoT was a hot topic at Infosecurity Europe earlier this year, while both the EU and US authorities have looked to impose new security regulations as IoT adoption increases. A separate report from Worldpay has suggested consumers are worried too. 

The fifth annual Vodafone Annual IoT Barometer admits that security remains the biggest barrier to IoT adoption, but firms who have already deployed the technology were looking to improve security training, work with more providers and recruit more specialists. 

Huawei Vodafone NB-IoT Lab (1)

IoT security 

The report, which looked at the US, Brazil, Ireland, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, China, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, said the percentage number of organisations with more than 50,000 connected devices had doubled over the past 12 months. 

Eighty-four percent of respondents said their use of IoT had grown in the past year and half claimed it was increasing revenues or had opened up new streams. Two thirds said their digital transformation projects would be impossible without IoT. 

The main benefits cited were productivity gains, cost efficiencies and improved market competitiveness. In the automotive sector, where autonomous and connected vehicles are gaining traction, half said IoT was vital for differentiation. 

“Over the five years of this report we have seen the number of companies that have adopted IoT double, and projects have grown from small pilots to global rollouts of tens of thousands of connected devices,” said Erik Brenneis, director of IoT at Vodafone.  

“IoT is clearly here to stay and the future looks exciting as 79 percent of adopters are saying that IoT will have an enormous impact on the whole economy in the next five years. I believe we can now say that IoT has come of age and is proving itself across all industries and geographies.” 

Worldpay’s study suggested that three quarters of consumers were concerned about devices being hacked and a third did not feel comfortable with automated purchasing. 

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