IT decision-makers at SMBs fear the Internet of Things

Internet of Things GFI Software Security
Connected devices cause concern for IT

Seventy percent of IT decision-makers at small-to-mid-size businesses do not believe the C-Suite will increase IT spending to provide them with the resources necessary to tackle additional security problems created by the Internet of Things, according to a survey conducted by Opinion Matters for GFI Software.

Almost 80% of survey respondents expect their security practices to change as a result of the Internet of Things. Mobile devices will create the most problems for IT administrators at small-to-mid-size companies who operate within an Internet of Things, according to the study, in which 81.7% of respondents chose mobile devices as their number one concern.

Research firm IDC projects technology and services revenue for the Internet of Things will increase from $4.8 trillion (£2.9 trillion, AU$5.3 trillion) in 2012 to $7.3 trillion (£4.4 trillion, AU$8.2 trillion) in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.8%.

IT decision-makers do not think existing anti-spam, antivirus and anti-malware infrastructures will protect their organizations from the new endpoints created by the Internet of Things. Almost half of those surveyed said firewalls would be their top priority in an Internet of Things era, while 35.7% cited mobile device management. Anti-virus was cited as a top priority by only 18.7% of respondents.

The major players

Technology vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, IBM and AT&T have all recently announced significant plans to increase their Internet of Things capabilities. In March, Cisco said it would invest $1 billion (about £605 million, or au$1.1 billion) to build what it said would be the world's largest Intercloud network to tackle the Internet of Everything. In February, IBM and AT&T joined together in a global alliance to develop support for the Internet of Things, and Microsoft announced a task force focused solely on the Internet of Things.

The survey consisted of responses from 202 IT decision-makers across the United States. The survey defined small-to-mid-size companies as businesses with 250 employees or fewer.