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Almost half of all U.S. companies that use IoT devices have been hit by a security breach, according to the results of a recent Altman Vilandrie & Company survey [PDF] of 397 IT executives across 19 industries.
For companies with under $5 million in annual revenue, the cost of the breaches represented more than 13 percent of their annual revenue, and for larger firms, the breaches cost tens of millions of dollars -- almost half of companies with annual revenues exceeding $2 billion estimated the potential cost of a single IoT breach at more than $20 million.
"While traditional cyber security has grabbed the nation's attention, IoT security has been somewhat under the radar, even for some companies that have a lot to lose through a breach," Altman Vilandrie director Stefan Bewley said in a statement.
"IoT attacks expose companies to the loss of data and services and can render connected devices dangerous to customers, employees and the public at large," Bewley added. "The potential vulnerabilities for firms of all sizes will continue to grow as more devices become Internet dependent."
Investing in Security
Prevention makes a big difference -- companies that weren't breached had spent, on average, 65 percent more on IoT security that companies that were breached.
Respondents' leading reasons for purchasing an IoT security solution were "preventing loss of control over IoT devices," "preventing breaches of customer information," and "preventing breaches of company data."
In choosing an IoT security solution, respondents generally prioritized provider reputation and product quality over cost. "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," Altman Vilandrie principal Ryan Dean said.
Still, while 68 percent of respondents think about IoT security as a distinct category, just 43 percent have a standalone budget for it.
Learning from Failure
A separate Cisco survey of 1,845 IT and business decision makers in the U.S., U.K. and India found that just 26 percent of respondents have had an IoT initiative that they considered a complete success.
Still, 64 percent of respondents said learning from a stalled or failed IoT initiative has helped accelerate their company's investment in IoT.
When asked what factors are key to a successful IoT project, 54 percent of respondents cited collaboration between IT and the business side, followed by a technology-focused culture (49 percent) and IoT expertise (48 percent).
The top three benefits of IoT, according to respondents, are improved customer satisfaction (70 percent), operational efficiencies (67 percent), and improved product/service quality (66 percent).
"We are seeing new IoT innovations almost every day," Cisco Enterprise Solutions Marketing vice president Inbar Lasser-Raab said in a statement. "We are connecting things that we never thought would be connected, creating incredible new value to industries."
Sixty-one percent of respondents believe they've barely begun to scratch the surface of what IoT technologies can do for their businesses.