Consumers say the possibility of being hacked deters them from fully using their IoT devices and businesses may not be adequately addressing their concerns.
When it comes to security in the Internet of Things, most (66%) consumers say they are concerned about devices being hacked, according to a new study.
The KPMG Consumer Loss Barometer study, comprising a survey of more than 1,000 consumers and technology-focused business executives, aimed to gauge how consumers would react to a cyberattack against key consumer industries.
The study found that almost a third (32%) of consumers said they have limited their use of IoT devices because they are concerned about security.
More than half (63%) of Gen X consumers said they would use more IoT devices if they had more confidence in the security of the devices. That number is even higher among younger consumers with the majority (74%) of millennials saying they would do so. Almost half (47%) of baby boomers said the same, according to KPMG.
"Today's consumers understand that the more advanced Internet of Things devices become, the more data they acquire and the more valuable the data is to a hacker," Gary Matuszak, global and U.S. chair of KPMG Technology, Media and Telecommunications said in a statement.
"While consumers want more of this technology, their loyalty will be earned by technology companies that educate their consumers on how to protect themselves and is transparent on how this data is being collected and protected."
There seems to be a disconnect between the security needs of connected consumers and the protection offered by the suppliers of the devices in those consumers’ hands.
Almost 40% of business executives said they have not invested in cyber security within the last year. The majority (76%) of executives said they have had a data breach within the last two years.
“Whether consciously authorized or not, by simply turning on a product or service, customers are today sharing vast caches of both device usage and personal data,” Matuszak said.
“Companies entrusted with this data need to recognize: cybersecurity and data protection is no longer an internal IT risk, but rather a strategic business risk of the highest order.”
Connected cars are also raising concerns from consumers about security and the sentiment is expected to grow in the next five years, according to KPMG.
While about half (51%) of consumers currently say they are not concerned about their vehicle being hacked, that number will be reduced to less than a third (30%) by 2021, according to the study.
Accordingly, the number of consumers concerned about their vehicles being hacked will increase in that time. Just more than a quarter (26%) of consumers said they are somewhat concerned about the possibility of their car being hacked and that segment will grow to 39% in the next five years.
The number of consumers extremely concerned about the possibility of their vehicles being hacked will grow from 23% to 31% by 2021.
In the event that a consumer’s vehicle is hacked, the majority (79%) said it would negatively impact their loyalty to the automaker.