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Companies embracing IoT despite security risks

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New research from Kaspersky has revealed that 61 percent of businesses are already using IoT platforms despite the significant security risks that come with their adoption.

The firm's new report, titled “With superpower comes super responsibility: benefits and challenges of IoT in business”, shows that the use of IoT business platforms is growing year-on-year in almost all industries.

According to Kaspersky, the most significant growth was seen in hospitality (from 53% in 2018 to 63% in 2019), healthcare (from 56% to 66%) and finance (from 60% to 68%). As of last year though, The IT and telecom (71%) and finance (68%) industries have embraced IoT more than all other verticals.

IoT platforms currently have many use cases including smart cities, grids, metering, transportation and logistics as well as automated manufacturing and connected heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC).

IoT security risks

The growth of IoT use has not been discouraged despite the high potential for cybersecurity risks and incidents. Kaspersky's survey shows that 28 percent of companies using IoT platforms stated that they had experienced incidents involving non-computing connected devices last year.

These incidents can be critical as sensors and smart devices are able to collect terabytes of data including sensitive information such as business data or customers' personal information. Additionally, IoT platforms can be connected to critical systems, such as traffic, power or transportation processes, which makes it vital to ensure their continuity and integrity.

In order to securely take advantage of the features and benefits of IoT platforms, Kaspersky recommends that organizations assess the status of a device's security before its implementation, conduct regular security audits, establish procedures for obtaining information on vulnerabilities in software and applications, implement cybersecurity solutions and use IoT devices that are secured by design.

Head of the KasperskyOS Business Unit at Kaspersky, Grigory Sizov provided further insight on the cybersecurity firm's latest report, saying:

“IoT is a powerful business enabler but to reap its benefits organisations need to put in a considerable amount of effort. It demands dedicated business processes, as well as expertise, to ensure it is effectively implemented. As the survey shows, cybersecurity is also a question that needs resolving in the IoT space — in terms of security of equipment, technical and organisational protection measures and data privacy, as well as other factors. It is important to consider security at an early stage of IoT implementation and we want to help our customers address this task by developing IoT security solutions and expertise within Kaspersky.”