Number of IoT-connected devices expected to rise by 200%

Number of IoT-connected devices expected to rise by 200% [Image: Maxiphoto via iStock]

New research has revealed that the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) will see an increase of 200 per cent by 2021.

Juniper Research has claimed that the rise will be due in part to the reduced costs of the hardware.

In their report, ‘The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2016-2021’, the researchers reveal that the industrial and public sectors will see the largest growth in IoT connections, rising at an average year-on-year rate of 24 per cent.

It is predicted that this will result in 48 billion devices being connected by 2021.

Researchers also highlighted the potential for security threats in the expanding IoT market.

The Juniper Research report found that enterprises and industry are investing heavily in security for the IoT. However, researchers found that security preparation in the consumer market landscape is “woeful”. The report claimed that regulatory, corporate and media collaboration are required to make the IoT more secure.

In an article for Semiconductor Engineering, Asaf Ashkenazi, senior director of product management in Rambus’ Security Division, said that perhaps the most important security concept in relation to the IoT is implementing security at the design phase.

The US Department of Homeland Security has recommended the use of hardware that incorporates security features to strengthen the protection and integrity of a device. According to Mr Ashkenazi, this includes leveraging computer chips that integrate security at the transistor level and embedded in the processor itself in order to provide encryption and anonymity.

In his article, Mr Ashkenazi explained: “Treating security as a primary design parameter rather than a tertiary afterthought is certainly an approach that is long overdue for a very vulnerable Internet of Things.

“As more and more ‘things’ connect to the Internet, the danger of nefarious attackers exploiting unsecured devices looms ever larger.”