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The market for technologies that safeguard Internet of Things (IoT) data will heat up over the next few years, indicates a new forecast from business research firm MarketsandMarkets.
By 2020, the IoT security market will grow to $28.9 billion from $6.89 billion this year, the analyst group predicts. During that time, the market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.2 percent, fueled primarily by North America.
Much of that demand will be driven by keeping critical infrastructure and manufacturing plants safe from hackers. Unlike identity theft, stolen bank credentials and other attempts to separate Internet users from their money, IoT hacks have the potential to cause physical harm or worse, warns MarketsandMarkets.
"Security issues in critical infrastructures can lead to huge losses such as power hacks, loss of life, and malfunction of nuclear reactors," said the firm in a statement. "Therefore, proper security implementation is essential and companies are increasing their investments for the same."
Utilities and manufacturers are already leading the IoT charge. Earlier this year, Gartner revealed that power plants and other utilities have already installed 299 million IoT devices, slightly behind manufacturers with 307 million "things."
IoT security, or the perceived lack thereof, is already worrying IT pros.
In a recent survey from CompuCom, a Dallas-based technology outsourcing company, 44 percent of respondents named security and a potential increase in hacking attempts as their top IoT concern. Twenty-eight percent said they were troubled by what the IoT era means for data privacy.
"IoT accentuates a new set of security concerns that span securing the device, the edge network and the new classes of data that will be collected," said CompuCom CTO Sam Gross in a statement.
Securing that rapidly-growing tangle of connected devices, services and communications networks is a big opportunity for cloud-based security specialists, the forecast suggests. Last year, Gartner famously predicted that by 2020 the IoT will be home to 26 billion devices.
"Nowadays, cloud-based security solutions are providing good opportunities for the growth of the IoT Security Market by minimizing implementation and maintenance costs and organizations are shifting towards the deployment of cloud-based security solutions," stated MarketsandMarkets.
Vendors to watch include Cisco, IBM, Infineon Technologies, Intel, Symantec, and Check Point Technologies, according to the research firm. In March, IBM said the IT giant would invest $3 billion over the next four years on growing its IoT capabilities.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.