The Internet of Things (IoT) will change our world forever in the coming years and touch nearly every industry. Despite the rapid growth expected from IoT, there needs to be certain conditions in place to properly address potential challenges, including security issues. If these challenges can be overcome, the opportunities for growth are endless.
The Expected Impact of IoT
IoT technology can be used to improve the management of factories, cities, healthcare, transportation and even humans. According to McKinsey, the potential economic impact of IoT could be up to $11 trillion a year by 2025.
There are plenty of examples of the potential of IoT. IoT’s role in manufacturing will allow industrial machinery to communicate with logistic networks and alert employees about needed repairs, which is why worldwide revenue in industrial IoT is expected at $746 billion by 2018. In the automobile industry, Bluetooth-enabled tires will alert a car’s control system when air pressure is low to improve consumer safety. Healthcare is also a major IoT target, and will represent a global market worth $163 billion by 2020.
Ensuring the Success of IoT
The full economic potential of IoT won’t be realized unless certain technical and regulatory conditions are met. On the technical side, IoT needs to ensure interoperability. For example, a Goji smart lock will have trouble communicating with Belkin Smart Bulbs, which means homeowners will have difficulty telling their Internet of Things enabled lights to turn on when they unlock their door.
On the regulatory side, IoT needs to overcome privacy concerns, such as determining who can use IoT data and how that data is used. A recent TRUSTe survey indicated that 79 percent of IoT smart device users are concerned about devices collecting their data.
Overcoming the Security Challenges of IoT
Many IoT devices are poorly designed for security and feature severe vulnerabilities, all which represents a major threat to IoT’s future success. In fact, HP found that 70 percent of IoT devices are vulnerable to attack. IoT is present in medical devices and expensive industrial equipment, which means security breaches can be devastating. Some hospitals have even banned mobile devices on their networks. Stories about hacked IoT baby monitors and automobiles might also be why 70 percent of consumers have privacy concerns with IoT.
That’s why IoT requires strong authentication standards, encrypted data and an IoT management platform that helps proactively track all access attempts and suspicious activities on a network. Furthermore, companies need to exhibit transparency about how IoT data is collected and used. Consumers will then have the confidence in IoT necessary for its continued growth.