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IoT security spending set to increase in 2018

Research and advisory multinational Gartner forecasts that worldwide spending on Internet of Things (IoT) security will reach $1.5-billion in 2018, a 28% increase from 2017’s spending of $1.2-billion.

Spending on IoT security is increasing, and a survey has revealed that one in five organisations has observed at least one IoT-based attack in the past three years, Gartner research director Ruggero Contu said in a statement on Friday.


In IoT initiatives, organisations often do not have control over the source and nature of the software and hardware used by smart connected devices. Demand is expected to increase for tools and services aimed at improving discovery and asset management, software and hardware security assessment and penetration testing.

In addition, organisations will look to increase their understanding of the implications of externalising network connectivity.


These factors will be the main drivers of spending growth for the forecast period with spending on IoT security expected to reach $3.1-billion in 2021, Contu stated.

“While basic security patterns have been revealed in many vertical IoT projects, they have not yet been codified into policy or design templates to allow for consistent reuse. As a result, technical standards for specific IoT security components in the industry are only now starting to be addressed across established information technology (IT) security standards bodies, consortium organisations and vendor alliances.”

The absence of “secure by design” comes from a lack of specific and stringent regulations. Going forward, Gartner expects this trend to change, especially in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and automotive.

By 2021, Gartner predicts that regulatory compliance will become the prime influencer for IoT security uptake. To comply with regulations and guidelines aimed at improving critical infrastructure protection, industries are being compelled to increase their focus on security as a result of IoT permeating the industrial world.

“Interest is growing in improving automation in operational processes through the deployment of intelligent, connected devices, such as sensors, robots and remote connectivity, often through cloud-based services,” said Contu.

“This innovation, often described as Industrial Internet of Things or Industry 4.0, is already impacting security in industry sectors deploying operational technology, such as energy, oil and gas, transportation and manufacturing.”

However, despite the steady year-on-year growth in worldwide spending, Gartner predicts that through 2020, the biggest inhibitor to growth for IoT security will come from a lack of prioritisation and implementation of security best practices and tools in IoT initiative planning. This will hamper the potential spend on IoT security by 80%.

“Although IoT security is consistently referred to as a primary concern, most IoT security implementations have been planned, deployed and operated at the business-unit level, in cooperation with some IT departments to ensure the IT portions affected by the devices are sufficiently addressed,” said Contu.

“Coordination via a common architecture or a consistent security strategy is all but absent, and vendor product and service selection remains largely ad hoc, based upon the device provider’s alliances with partners or the core system that the devices are enhancing or replacing,” he emphasised.

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