31 Percent of Developers See Software as Greatest Threat to IoT Security

According to the results of a recent survey of more than 500 IoT (Internet of Things) developers, 31 percent of respondents believe the greatest trouble spot for IoT security lies within the software or firmware for connected devices.

The survey, conducted by Evans Data Corporation, also found that other major security threats for IoT development, according to respondents, include exposing data to mobile clients (22 percent), transmission of data through a network or cloud (16.7 percent), and the physical security of devices (13.8 percent).

Eight-seven percent of respondents said security is either somewhat important or extremely important to their organizations.

“Security is without doubt the most serious problem that developers face with Internet of Things and for good reason,” Evans Data Corporation CEO Janel Garvin said in a statement. “With IoT and connected devices we’re bringing software out of the computer and into the real world, where cyber attacks or hacking can bring real world consequences. Developers understand this and take it quite seriously.”

A separate Spiceworks survey of 440 IT professionals found that 53 percent of respondents believe wearable devices are most likely to the source of a security breach among IoT devices connected to their network, followed by video equipment (50 percent), physical security (46 percent), and appliances (45 percent).

Ninety percent of respondents believe the influx of IoT devices creates security and privacy issues in the workplace.

When asked to identify their biggest security concerns about IoT in the workplace, respondents’ leading concerns were entry points into the network (84 percent), insufficient security measures implemented by IoT manufacturers (70 percent), default passwords (68 percent), and lack of IoT standards (66 percent).

Still, the majority of organizations aren’t actively preparing for the impact of IoT in the workplace. When asked why, 47 percent of respondents said the value of monitoring IoT devices is still unclear, 38 percent said their lack the time and staffing resources, and 37 percent said they lack budget.

The number of organizations connecting wearables to their networks has nearly doubled since last year, from 13 to 24 percent. And while two years ago, insufficient bandwidth was the leading barrier to keeping users connected to to corporate networks, security concerns are now the leading barrier at 65 percent.

While 41 percent of organizations have a separate network for IoT devices and 11 percent don’t allow any IoT devices on their network, 39 percent are putting them on their corporate networks.

“As the demand to put more IoT devices on corporate networks increases, IT professionals’ security concerns are increasing in tandem,” Spiceworks vice president of Sanjay Castelino said in a statement. “IT pros are well aware that more endpoints into the network puts their organization more at risk, but many businesses still aren’t equipped to manage IoT devices and identify potential threats.”

Among those organizations that are preparing to support IoT devices, 68 percent are educating end users about risks, 47 percent are investing in security solutions, and 43 percent are investing in infrastructure.

And while just 12 percent of organizations are investing in new management tools for IoT devices today, nearly 50 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months.

More than 40 percent of respondents to a QuinStreet Enterprise survey cited security concernsas the top impediment to IoT initiatives in their organizations.

A recent eSecurity Planet article offered advice on securing the IoT process.

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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