Security threats getting worse due to IoT growth

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The Internet of Things is raising many expectations, not the least of which is that deploying the technology will increase an organization’s security risks.

In a worldwide poll, 65 percent of the business professionals surveyed indicated that the IoT will increase their operational technology (OT) and IT security risks. The research was conducted by the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab in conjunction with Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC).

A total of 320 professionals from 25 countries with decision-making power in regard to cyber security were surveyed in April and May. The view most commonly put forward was that as digitalization, including increased connectivity and the IoT, continues to spread among industrial organizations, so do the cyber security risks associated with complex industrial environments.

While the respondents acknowledged that the convergence of IT and OT, including the wider connectivity of OT with external networks and the growing number of industrial IoT devices, is boosting the efficiency of industrial processes, they also pointed to new risks and vulnerabilities. More than three quarters (77 percent) of the participants said they thought it likely that their organization would become the target of a cyber security threat involving its industrial control networks.

Of their concerns related to IoT, more than half (54 percent) of the respondents said that the increased risks associated with device connectivity and integration are a major cyber security challenge and that new types of IoT security measures need to be implemented.

But while the IoT presents many new security challenges, the survey participants maintained that guarding against traditional cyber threats still needs to be top of mind.

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Internet of things Cyber security