Consumers, Security Pros Troubled By IoT Issues

From a security standpoint, many security professionals say their organizations are not ready for the Internet of Things.

IoT security continues to be an area of concern for both businesses and consumers, and a new study shows that fear also includes potential weaponization of IoT devices.

Tripwire’s Black Hat 2016 Survey: IoT Risks and Cyber War, comprising a survey of more than 200 security professionals, found that the majority (79%) are concerned about the weaponization of IoT devices for cyber attacks

“It wasn't so long ago that home computer ‘zombie armies’ were the weapon of choice for a lot of cyber attacks and denial of service attacks,” Dwayne Melancon, chief technology officer and vice president of research and development at Tripwire, said in a statement.

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“It seems that security professionals see IoT devices as a sort of ‘zombie appliance army’ that’s worthy of great concern.”

Fewer than a third (30%) of security professionals said their organization is prepared for the risks associated with IoT devices, according to the study.

On the consumer side, another recent study from security company BullGuard found that more than half (58%) of consumers are very or highly concerned about potential hacking and data theft against their connected devices.

More than a third (37%) of consumers said they have already experienced a security incident or privacy problem in the past, according to that study, which comprised a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers.

Executives on the security side seem to agree with consumers’ concerns. Another study from IOActive found that almost half (47%) of security professionals estimate that fewer than 10% of IoT devices are designed with adequate security.

The majority (70%) also estimate that fewer than 25% of IoT products have adequate security designed into them.

In addition to the security of individual devices, the Tripwire study also found overall tracking of devices to be an area of concern.

More than half (52%) of security professionals said they do not believe that their organization accurately tracks the number of IoT devices connecting to their networks.

About a third (34%) said they are confident in the accuracy of that tracking.

The high level of concern about security vulnerability within the Internet of Things appears to stem from the nature of the devices, according to Tripwire’s Melancon.

“Many of the current crop of IoT devices were created with low cost as a priority over security, making them easy targets,” Melancon said.

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