Black Market for IoT Data to Reach $5 Billion by 2020: Gartner

Gartner predicts a booming business in IoT data intended to hide criminal activity and protect personal privacy over the next few years.

Add falsified data to the growing list of concerns surrounding the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market.

Gartner, a technology research firm, predicts that by 2020 there will exist a black market for fake sensor and video data valued at over $5 billion. Although much of that data will be used to mask criminal activity, at least some of it will be used to protect privacy.

Ted Friedman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, believes that this will also help reignite the privacy debate.

"A black market for fake or corrupted sensor and video data will mean that data can be compromised or substituted with inaccurate or deliberately manipulated data," said Friedman in a statement. "This scenario will spur the growth of privacy products and services, resulting in an extensive public discussion regarding the future of privacy, the means to protect individual privacy, and the role of technology and government in privacy protection."

On a related note, enterprises will be boosting their data security spending to thwart attackers.

By 2020, Gartner expects firms to devote 20 percent of their annual security budgets to locking down their IoT environments, up from less than one percent last year. Sensing an opportunity, the top "cybersecurity vendors and service providers are already delivering roadmaps and architecture of IoT security," noted Gartner vice president, Earl Perkins, in a statement.

The market for IoT security products is attracting a new wave of startups, which are "delivering niche IoT security in areas such as network segmentation, device-to-device authentication and simple data encryption are offering first-generation products and services, including cloud-based solutions where applicable," said Perkins. Meanwhile, established vendors have started snapping up startups to fill out their portfolios.

IoT security challenges aside, enterprises will also face a time crunch. Seventy-five percent of IoT projects will take up to twice as long to complete than originally planned through 2018, expects Gartner.

In an attempt to remain on-schedule, some organizations will cut corners, which inevitably leads to cost overruns associated with fixing shortcomings in security, performance and the integration process. In extreme cases, some projects may end up completely scrapped and restarted.

As is often the case, the weakest link in IoT projects will be "people issues," according to Alfonso Velosa, research vice president at Gartner.

"Most of these issues will center on the normal introduction of a new technology model. It will be complicated by emerging business models that will require process and cultural change. Addressing both of these will lead to projects going over schedule," stated Velosa in prepared remarks.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: Gartner, internet of things, IoT

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