IT Pros Forced to Adopt IoT Devices Despite Security Risks

As the lucrative IoT market grows, so do concerns for its security

As many as 68 percent of IT professionals believe that business efficiency requirements are forcing their organisations to adopt smart technology in spite of security risks.

This was one of the key findings from a study conducted at Infosecurity Europe 2015 by security and compliance management solutions provider, Tripwire.

Additional attack vectors

Research firm IDC anticipates there will be more than 28 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices installed by 2020. These devices are expected to deliver an overall global economic value add of $1.9tn, of which 80 percent will be derived from services. While the IoT marketplace is lucrative, new devices will open additional attack vectors for enterprise networks.

Additional findings from Tripwire’s study, which was released today, include:

87 percent of respondents said their organisation has a policy which places restrictions on employees connecting smart tools to the corporate network. However, 62 percent of respondents admit they’ve already connected personal devices.

IoT homeWhen purchasing a new smart device, 73 percent of the respondents said their primary concern is functionality, not security.

More than a quarter of the respondents (27 percent) already own between five and ten smart devices excluding smart phones and laptops.

Ken Westin, security analyst for Tripwire, said: “Even though many organisations have policies against connecting personal smart devices to their corporate networks, employees often feel that connecting these devices via USB to charge them isn’t a problem.

“I’ve heard a number of stories about the security alerts generated when employees plug their smart phones into point-of-sale devices, a practice that can easily introduce additional risk. This is really an education problem – employees need a better understanding of the risks involved and IT teams need to provide reasonable options so employees can remain productive without increasing security risks to the organisation.”

More than 270 attendees were surveyed at Infosecurity Europe 2015 in Olympia, London.

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