Trend Micro has released findings of a recently conducted survey that show businesses are most concerned about losing customer trust in the event of an Internet of Things (IoT) related cyber attack. But unfortunately, they still seem unprepared to deal with those attacks. The survey also indicates major discrepancy between the investment in IoT systems and security to protect them.
Close to half (43%) of tech and security decision makers feel that security is an afterthought when implementing IoT projects (peaking at 46% in Germany). In addition, while nearly two-thirds (63%) agree that IoT-related cybersecurity threats have increased over the past 12 months (rising to 71% in the UK and the US), only about half (53%) think connected devices are a threat to their own organisation (75% in Japan).
The results also suggest there could be minimal testing taking place ahead of implementation to ensure new devices added to corporate environments are secured. The survey also showed businesses are experiencing an average of three attacks on connected devices in the last 12 months. 38% of those that have already implemented, or plan to implement, an IoT solution enlist security decision-makers in the implementation process. This falls to one in three for smart factory implementation (32%), with a similar proportion enlisting the help of security teams for the roll out of smart utility (31%) and wearables (30%) projects. This suggests that a significant proportion of businesses globally could be unwittingly opening themselves up to a range of threats.
Security, Responsibility, Reputation, and Business Impact
The top consequences as a result of a breach include loss of customer trust (52%) closely followed by monetary loss (49%). Despite the recent introduction of GDPR making it top of mind for many, the following consequences were ranked significantly lower. Some of the areas businesses think an IoT breach would impact are:
Customer trust (52%)
Monetary loss (49%)
Loss of personally identifiable information (32%)
Being fined by regulators (31%)
Breaking data security regulations (28%)
With breaches having the potential for a significant impact on business operations – such as jeopardising GDPR compliance or taking critical networks offline – the research confirms that cybersecurity cannot be an afterthought and it must be key to the IoT implementation process from the offset.
The findings show significant investment is going toward IoT systems, with businesses spending over $2.5 million on average each year. Given the substantial financial investment, and the significant impact to organisations that could come from a cyber attack against these systems, security must be equally prioritised to mitigate this risk.
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