IT professionals always knew the Internet of Things (IoT) would be big, but let’s be honest, the IoT is officially huge.
According to research firm IDC, the global IoT market will balloon from $655.8 billion in 2014, to a staggering $1.7 trillion by 2020. Furthermore, the number of Internet connected devices will grow from 10.3 billion, as of last year, to 29.5 billion in 2020. The term “devices”, which now includes connected cars, refrigerators, smart thermostats, to name a few, will make up 31.8 percent of the IoT, while storage, security, software, and “as a service” solutions will account for the majority of the remaining market share. Improvements in data analysis software, as well as the declining cost of sensors and processing power will continue to fuel market growth well into the next decade.
In terms of regional revenue shares, Asia will likely reign supreme in 2020 despite a slight loss of market share from last year, with 51.2 percent of the pie (down from 58.3 percent in 2014), while North American will be next at 26 percent, followed by Western Europe at 19.5 percent. Most importantly, experts also believe that a new market will emerge for companies that can effectively manage and analyze the incredible amounts of data that all of these connected devices will be producing on a daily basis.
As IoT manufacturers begin to position their products for the mainstream marketplace, there is one very important aspect of the IoT that needs to be addressed: Security.
At a recent IoT Security Forum, experts chimed in on the subject, insisting that security apparatuses be “baked into” IoT devices rather than be added later on when they are less effective. Doing so would not only encourage better safety standards from the design phase, but would also allow researchers to test systems before they hit the open market, and provide owners with readily downloadable software updates.
The threat of liability looms largest for companies that rely on sensors and other small IoT devices that are embedded in complex systems—like cars for example. While nobody knows for sure whether an auto manufacturer would be held responsible if an IoT sensor failed due to a security breach and caused an accident, the threat is great enough to make those with a stake in matters a little nervous. There is also concern that security threats to increasingly popular wearable devices could potentially expose sensitive data about a user such as their secure financial information.
Experts say that one way for IoT manufacturers to eliminate security weaknesses is to tie their hardware and software together in the design phase, and to walk through and beef up any open source software. They also suggest that IoT manufactures limit the number of devices that their products can communicate with, thus decreasing the chance that hackers can eventually gain access to a particular piece of hardware through another device’s vulnerabilities.
With rapid growth, and more consumer products hitting the shelves each day, it is imperative for IoT manufacturers to get ahead of potential security vulnerabilities in their devices as soon as possible. By reaching out to an external, third-party IT provider like AAJ, IoT manufacturers can ensure that their products hold the highest security standards possible before they hit the marketplace.