Internet of Things (IoT) security is a whole new ball game for enterprise security to deal with. It concerns securing tens of billions of devices that each represent a port of entry to organizational systems.
Yet, despite the obvious security nightmare posed by the IoT, there is a strong desire to fully exploit its business and management potential. Governments around the world, for example, are partnering with IoT vendors to add connected sensors and devices as part of smart city projects. Manufacturers are connecting disparate systems within their operations to provide far more granularity into processes, output, and products. Consumers, too, are being armed with IoT sensors that do such tasks as remind them to order certain groceries. This mushrooming number of connected devices is fueling IoT innovation.
IoT Raises Threat Potential
According to the Internet of Things (IoT) Security Product market report, rising penetration of mobile network connectivity greatly increases security threat and overall risk. This perceived threat is driving the Internet of Things (IoT) security product market, which is growing at a robust rate of 15% per year between now and 2030.
“Demand for IoT is significantly increasing owing to rising demand for connected devices, such as smart cars, smart meters and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications — such factors are increasing demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) security product market,” the report says.
Specific to applications, the smart grid segment is expected to witness the highest rate of growth during this decade. Smart grids are very much in demand, are part of ongoing U.S. Department of Energy efficiency programs and are being supported by utilities, IT vendors, and the consumer population at large.
In many ways, the pace of development of IoT security products enables broader rollout of the IoT as a whole. While installation of smart sensors in consumer products happened well in advance of security safeguards, the enterprise market is more cautious and more demanding. The maturity of IoT security software solutions will profoundly impact enterprise acceptance application of M2M communication and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.
Huge Market Potential
The upside for the security market is huge. After all, the global market for overall IoT solutions is already in excess of $200 billion, after surpassing $100 billion in 2017. According to Statista, the market could be worth as much as $1.6 trillion by 2025. If IoT security even grabs 5%, that’s a huge boon to both startups and traditional security players.
However, it has to be understood that the IoT needs different technologies, procedures, protocols, and standards compared to traditional IT security. There is no place for two-factor authentication in many consumer devices, for example. Imagine having to log in to your fridge, then receive a text and type in a code in order to grab the orange juice. Not workable.
Similarly, in many enterprise applications, two-factor authentication might present too many barriers to shop floor productivity. Perhaps the authentication happens initially and then the user is free to operate without further security burden. Such details will have to be developed over time based on the right balance of security and functionality.
Take the case of health care. The health care industry is another area where the IoT undoubtedly holds real promise. But the shift to the Internet of Things to raise the connectivity of medical devices poses serious challenges. On the plus side, patients and providers gain more efficient management, faster access to data, better analytics, and higher levels of automation. However, security measures must be in place sufficient to keep hackers at bay.
Such measures must safeguard patient data as well as patient health. But the last thing you want is a nurse waiting urgently to access medications when a person’s survival is at stake. Again, balance is the key.
It is up to IoT security vendors to work with the health care industry and general IT players to evolve the rules, and procedures that function best in the real world. This may necessitate a change of operating basis for many.
Traditionally, vendors noticed a problem and worked on it for months or years and then brought it to market. But the pace of the IoT boom and the needs of the market merit much closer collaboration. When you get into highly specialized applications, such as health care, automotive, telecom, or manufacturing, IT and security personnel must recognize one essential element: They may be expert in security as a general discipline, but they are largely limited when it comes to the modes of operation of these specialized fields. Therefore, they must partner closely with users in each vertical to develop solutions for security that dovetail well with ongoing operations.
IoT Security Vendors
There are many well-known players as well as a raft of startups in the IoT security space. These include:
- Kaspersky Lab
- INSIDE Secure
- Trend Micro
- CheckPoint Software Technologies
- Infineon Technologies
- ARM Holdings