Survey highlights IoT security breaches at U.S. firms

Companies that have not experienced a security intrusion have invested 65% more on IoT security than those that have been breached.

A new survey shows that nearly half of U.S. firms using an internet of things (IoT) network have been hit by a recent breach, which can cost up to 13% of smaller firms’ annual revenues.

Of course, the potential vulnerabilities for firms of all sizes will continue to grow as more devices become internet-dependent, the surveyors point out. The survey data was released by strategy consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company.

A white paper accompanying the survey results did not examine which types of IoT technologies are most vulnerable. Cellular operators tend to boast about the security their IoT networks offer, but companies that offer non-cellular-based wireless IoT technologies also say security is top of mind.

For IoT consumers, being prepared can go a long way. The survey data indicates that companies that have not experienced a security intrusion have invested 65% more on IoT security than those that have been breached.

“The types of IoT security products companies are looking to add varies based on past security breach experience,” according to the white paper. “We see that companies without a past security breach tend to want to add Monitor & Control products to their IoT security suites in the next 1-2 years. Conversely, those that have experienced a breach look to Defend products to better secure their IoT networks.”

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 68% of respondents think about IoT security as a distinct category, yet only 43% have a standalone budget. 
  • Despite the fact that separate business units may have different needs, 74% of firms centralize IoT security decisions for the entire organization.
  • After preventing loss of control over IoT devices,” traditional cybersecurity concerns such as preventing breaches of customer information and preventing breaches of company data are ranked as the next most important reasons to adopt IoT security.

The survey polled about 400 IT executives across 19 industries and was conducted in April 2017. Participating companies ranged from start-ups to multinational corporations with billions of dollars in annual revenues.

“We see it being critical for security providers to build a strong brand and reputation in the IoT security space. There are lots of providers developing innovative solutions, but when it comes to purchasing decisions, buyers are looking for a brand and product they trust,” said Altman Vilandrie & Company Principal Ryan Dean, who co-directed the survey, in a press release. “Price is a secondary concern that buyers tend to evaluate after they have narrowed their options down to a few strong security solutions.”