Greetings, and welcome. This week, prodigious predicted growth in IoT security spending, plus the dawn of IoT-enabled stickers. As always, your thoughts, reactions, and suggestions welcome. Just send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on the IoT and IIoT, check out “DortchOnIT’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Weekly.” Thanks.
Analysts Predict IoT Security Spending to Reach $6 Billion in 5 Years
What Happened:New and recent research from several analyst firms predicts significant growth in spending on IoT security – and in challenges to the effectiveness of those anticipated investments.
- Juniper Research announceda new study, “The Internet of Things for Security Providers: Opportunities, Strategies & Forecasts 2018-2023.” That study predicts global IoT security spending will exceed US$6 billion by 2023, a rise of “nearly 300% over the forecast period.”
- That spending will vary considerably among different market segments, Juniper said. A combination of “poor long-term device support and little fear of ramifications in case of a breach” will constrain “smart home IoT security spending” to “less than 175 of the consumer market in 2023.” In contrast, “strict minimum standards, such as those applied by Germany and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation,” will drive IoT security spending in the “smart energy” sector to US$1 billion annually by 2023.
- Juniper identified other IoT security spending drivers as well. These include an anticipated “rise of edge computing services to enable near-real-time IoT applications.” The study also cited “an increased attack surface as raising business risk,” and “the need for lifecycle management and device security solutions” to “ensure data reliability.”
- Juniper is not the only analyst firm predicting high growth for IoT security, as Internet of Businessreported. “In March, Gartner suggested that worldwide IoT security spending would hit $1.5 billion this year, while fellow analyst firm IDC suggested that spending on the overall IoT market – including IoT security – would hit $1.2 trillion by 2022.”
What It Means:As with any significant, sustained investments, where that money goes can be more important than the amounts. Given the rapid and constant evolution of cybersecurity threats, it may be impossible to overspend on effective defenses. However, when risks and costs are misperceived, it is all too easy to underspend and to misspend.
What You Should Do:IT, IoT, IIoT, cybersecurity, and business decision makers at every business must collaborate and communicate openly and frequently, to assess IoT opportunities, risks, and costs accurately for that business. Studies and forecasts can provide impetus and information. However, only you and your colleagues know your business well enough to translate generalized findings into specific, appropriate actions and investments. Two strong first steps: get a handle on all the authorized and unauthorized devices connected to your network, and establish an enforceable policy for curtailing unauthorized connections. (See “TWiTIoT: This Week in The Internet of Things – Government Moves and Shadow IoT Threats.”)
IoT Connectivity: Coming to Everything Near You?
What Happened:Researchers at two U.S. universities announced a technique for easily fabricating tiny, thin electronic circuits that can be peeled from a surface and attached to almost anything.
- As Purdue University announced, researchers there and at the University of Virginia “have developed a new fabrication method that makes tiny, thin-film electronic circuits peelable from a surface. The technique not only eliminates several manufacturing steps and the associated costs, but also allows any object to sense its environment or be controlled through the application of a high-tech sticker.”
- The new technique is called “transfer printing,” and has already received a non-provisional (enforceable) U.S. patent. It replaces the high temperatures and harsh chemicals used to manufacture today’s silicon chips. Instead, a thin film containing the desired circuits can peel off a silicon wafer at room temperature “with the energy-saving help of simply water.” Because it is not damaged or destroyed by transfer printing, each silicon wafer can be reused to produce “a nearly infinite number of thin films holding electronic circuits.”
- The developers have already demonstrated IoT functionality in circuits made with transfer printing. “Putting one of the stickers on a flower pot, for example, made that flower pot capable of sensing temperature changes that could affect the plant’s growth.” “The researchers demonstrate capabilities on various objects in a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” and in a YouTube video.
What It Means:Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is widely used today to track everything from items in warehouses to orders of sushi. But RFID didn’t really take off commercially until RFID tags became durable, easy to use, and inexpensive to manufacture and use. Transfer printing and similar developments will make IoT sensors and connections faster, easier, and cheaper to make and use. Such technologies will power explosive growth in the number and range of IoT-enabled devices.
What You Should Do:If your business makes or sells anything and is not in the software or IoT connectivity development business, you and your colleagues need to watch these and similar developments. On the one hand, your business – and, most likely, your competitors – will be compelled to consider or pursue IoT-related initiatives soon, if not now. On the other hand, with ubiquitous connectivity comes the prospect of threats from anywhere. Which means the time and effort you and your colleagues don’t spend developing IoT connectivity may be needed to achieve effective levels of IoT security. (See “TWiTIoT: This Week in The Internet of Things – Every IoT Device A Security Risk?”)