The concern over how to secure users, businesses, and individual devices against the coming tides of cyber crime as the internet of things (IoT) grows will spur massive expenditures on IoT security in the coming years, according to research firm Gartner. Figures released this week signal increased concern over cyber security on a global level, notably the security of future connected networks of billions of devices.
There are many unanswered questions about the internet of things, including: What standard will exist for connectivity? How will charging standards change to accommodate the battery lives of the tons of devices to come? How will any network ensure security with more connected end points if current networks can barely do the job? The last question drives the figures from Gartner: worldwide expenditures on IoT security will increase by 24% this year to $348 million. And the IoT security market will reach $840 million by 2020.
As Dr. Jean Camp of Indiana University pointed out at the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit last year, along with the internet of things, users are going to be interacting with computers that influence their environments, as opposed to the computers they act on now. That change opens up a whole new set of vulnerabilities. Hijacking the systems of connected cars, or accessing the cycle of a connected lightbulb were just two examples she provided of the potential for hacker interference with a set of connected devices.
Cyber crime rears its head every day, but sometimes in more expensive ways than others — attacks on whole country’s electrical grids or the exposing of millions of users’ credit card information for two. As it becomes clear that the “bad guys” have an advantage, security spending increases. It’s a natural progression, although as Camp and other experts have noted, one that is faulty in that security spending often comes after threats to networks emerge — not before.