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Internet of Things needs to be encrypted to offer proper security

Research reveals data protection and user education gaps are holding back IoT
Mon Jul 21 2014, 08:50

ALL DATA SENT via the Internet of Things (IoT) needs to be secured with encryption, according to the findings of recent INQUIRER research.

The research, carried out in conjunction with Intel, revealed that 44 percent of INQUIRER readers believe that data encryption is the best way to ensure the IoT is secure. 23 percent would prefer to see users being given full control over their own data, while 10 percent believe the best IoT security option is to not store any usage data at all.

Security is seen as crucial to the widespread uptake of the IoT, with 41 percent of readers citing data protection worries as a key obstacle. Security was also a hot topic at a recent roundtable we hosted, with Intel arguing that the IoT needs its own security model in order to protect user data.

However, this was not the biggest barrier. Over half of readers (53 percent) said lack of understanding of the benefits of the Internet of Things is the main obstacle to uptake within businesses, meaning more work is required from technology vendors and IT workers to explain IoT and its potential uses and advantages.

This finding was backed up by the discussion at the roundtable, where Jeff Briks, head of IT at TBC Recycling, pointed out that users fear the IoT but don't realise it's already all around them, including in their homes.

Despite the obstacles to IoT, 31 percent of organisations are currently using the technology in some way, while a further 14 percent have plans in place to try out and deploy IoT.

The results indicate that healthcare is the biggest potential market for IoT, with 54 percent of readers seeing tools like heart-rate monitors as a top benefit. Meanwhile, 45 percent are keen on the prospect of safer roads due to connected cars, with the same number liking the idea of easier management of household appliances and the opportunity to go green via energy smart meters.

However, there are still many IoT dissenters. A quarter of readers said they don't have plans in place to deploy any of the associated technology at present, while a further 26 percent don't see IoT as having any impact on their organisation.

For those readers whose firms are using IoT, the most popular technology in place at firms are apps to manage and control the Internet of Things, used by 27 percent of businesses. Smart devices for customers are in use at 26 percent of firms, while analytics tools for managing and measuring the data collected from IoT networks have been rolled out across 18 percent of firms. µ


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