Organizations are rapidly adopting connected technologies to drive innovation and digital transformation success. From aerospace, to agriculture, to logistics, enterprises are leveraging IoT to identify new areas of value, to explore how new value can be developed, and to deploy strategies that can help capture untapped sources of value. The IoT product portfolio is extensive and enterprise IoT opportunities are set to expand as the market continues to mature.

Consumers have also embraced IoT technologies, recognizing connected devices as tools that simplify everyday living. Use of connected devices accelerated sharply towards the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, as wearables helped people overcome adverse health circumstances and achieve the best possible outcomes. The consumer IoT market is expected to grow from $45 billion to $154 billion in value by 2028.

However, despite the exceptional momentum and readily apparent growth trajectory, the IoT ecosystem faces continued challenges. Multi-stakeholder coalitions have been formed with the aim of increasing trustworthiness of IoT devices. In a similar regard, governments around the globe are developing new policies and programs to improve the cyber security around connected products.

In general, stronger alignment of public and private efforts are needed in order to reduce the fragmentation of policies and programs around connected devices.

Achieving more with alliances

Organizational alliances have the capacity to dramatically improve and help scale IoT-centered cyber security practices. Multi-industry and multi-disciplinary approaches are recognized as critical instruments in reducing the risk associated with IoT. In turn, connected products will be better positioned to positively impact society at-large.

Leading-edge groups and brands are taking action. The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance recently developed IoT accountability policies. The United Nations Internet Governance Forum recently held discussions concerning connected cars. The Connectivity Standards Alliance, the Global Cyber Alliance, and numerous companies are joining the effort to advance cyber security across IoT platforms.

But who is really responsible for safeguarding the connected future?

IoT and sustainable cyber security

At present, many enterprises applying IoT technologies are unable to scale projects beyond pilots due to issues related to cyber security. Insecure IoT devices and/or data storage can lead to business extinction-level events, as data compromise can diminish brand reputation, create overwhelming expenses, and culminate in lawsuits.

According to the World Economic Forum, we need to ease and incentivize adoption of cyber security best practices in the product development lifecycle to ensure products’ long-term security. IoT systems must be made resilient to cyber risk by design. Purchasers and users must also adhere to cyber security best practices in order to avoid negative outcomes.

Further thoughts

As additional IoT technologies enter the marketplace, further action around IoT security standards, policies and best practices will become critical. Incremental security improvements will pave the way for continued IoT-based value creation, allowing both enterprises and consumers to flourish.

As the number of connected devices expands, so will the propensity for serious cyber attacks. IoT devices can be used to gain unauthorized access into systems and to launch malicious software. When it comes to IoT devices, security can no longer be relegated to an afterthought. As we continue forward in the digital age, IoT security needs to be front and center in security dialogues.

For more insights regarding how to collaboratively develop an optimized and secure IoT ecosystem, please click here. Lastly, please join us in discussing business and cyber security at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. Learn more here.