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IoT Security Spending to Top $1.5 Billion This Year

Internet of things (IoT)-based attacks continue to make headlines and are becoming more frequent. According to a Gartner survey, nearly one-fifth of organizations have observed at least one IoT-based attack in the past three years. Accordingly, worldwide spending on IoT security will reach $1.5 billion in 2018, the firm said.

That’s a 28% increase from 2017 spending of $1.2 billion. Further out, IoT security spending is expected to reach $3.1 million in 2021.

"In IoT initiatives, organizations often don't have control over the source and nature of the software and hardware being utilized by smart connected devices," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. "We expect to see demand for tools and services aimed at improving discovery and asset management, software and hardware security assessment, and penetration testing. In addition, organizations will look to increase their understanding of the implications of externalizing network connectivity.”

Despite the steady year-over-year growth in worldwide spending, it could be much more if certain challenges are met: Gartner predicts that through 2020, the biggest inhibitor to growth for IoT security will come from a lack of prioritization and implementation of security best practices and tools in IoT initiative planning. This will hamper the potential spend on IoT security by 80%, the firm said.

"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," explained Contu. "However, coordination via 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."

Also, while basic security patterns have been revealed in many vertical 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 just starting to be addressed across established IT security standards bodies, consortium organizations and vendor alliances.

Meanwhile, an absence of security-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. In fact, by 2021, Gartner predicts that regulatory compliance will become the prime influencer for IoT security uptake. Industries having to comply with regulations and guidelines aimed at improving critical infrastructure protection 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."

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