Some 65% of firms lack confidence securing IoT devices

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Businesses acknowledge the opportunities provided by the Internet of Things (IoT) and the growing number of IoT devices connected to their enterprise networks but they lack the proper understanding of how to secure them, according to new research.

Cybersecurity firm Forescout’s ‘European Perceptions, Preparedness and Strategies for IoT Security’ survey revealed that 65 per cent of respondents have ‘quite’, ‘little’ or ‘no’ confidence in terms of being able to identify and control all IoT devices on their network.

The survey of 201 senior IT decision-makers in the UK and German-speaking regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland assessed their organisations’ IoT security practices.

According to Forescout, companies’ uncertainty is substantiated by the fact that many IoT operating systems are open source and can therefore be adapted by device manufacturers, which could lead to many variants.

“The staggering growth of the IoT is creating both value and risks for enterprise organisations,” said Jan Hof, international marketing director at ForeScout Technologies.

“While the IoT is recognised by many as an opportunity to improve and streamline business processes, there are associated security risks that need to be addressed – first and foremost through visibility of devices as soon as they connect to the network. You cannot secure what you cannot see.”

The survey found that the average business expects to be dealing with 7,000 IoT devices over the next 18 months. It found that even smaller businesses expect the numbers to be hundreds or thousands, which is far more than they are used to securing when it comes to traditional user endpoints.

It was discovered that one-third of respondents say the IoT is already having a major impact on their organisation and a further third expect it to in the near future.

Forescout said IT and telecoms are the most advanced industries in terms of IoT readiness with healthcare, which many think stands to benefit significantly from the IoT, behind them.