For the past several years, the Internet of Things has been promising homes and businesses that are smarter — adapting to make our lives more convenient. However, adoption of devices and products, such as driverless cars and smart door locks, may not be accelerating as fast as anticipated — primarily because of concerns about data security.
While the Consumer Technology Association predicted that the sale of smart home devices would grow by 21 percent this year with projected sales of $1.2 billion, other studies show that there has been some consumer reluctance about buying those devices.
That report showed that 47 percent of consumers in 28 countries said that they have avoided buying IoT devices because of security and privacy concerns. “Security has moved from being a nagging problem to a top barrier as consumers are now choosing to abandon IoT devices and services over security concerns,” the report noted.
Many of the concerns are related to news of security breaches, which led many of them to distrust the use of the devices, which rely on interconnectivity.
Alliance sets security guidelines
Many manufacturers of IoT devices have been taking on different initiatives to ensure security, especially in the wake of a RAND study that pointed out the security vulnerabilities in the IoT industry. The study identified areas of concern such as patch-on-patch security and internet connectivity on previously non-connected objects.
In response to the concerns, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) just recently released an 80-page document outlining guidelines for the industry. The report findings included:
- Including security as part of the initial development methodology — not as an afterthought.
- Distributing IoT in physically secure environments to avoid security risks, including the theft of devices and other development components.
- Better implementation of cryptography in IoT.
The alliance also noted that security has not been a business driver in development, which has led to inadequate standards among smaller manufacturing operations. Difficulties finding IoT specialists who are familiar with security has also led to the problem, the alliance reported.
The CSA’s full report can be read here.