2020 computing

The IoT Rundown For 2020: Stats, Risks, and Solutions

Weak passwords, insecure network services and a lack of secure update mechanisms top the list of risks for companies utilizing IoT technology.

In 1999, Kevin Ashton coined the term “the Internet of Things.” However, the technology only gained momentum in 2011, after a Gartner report added it to the list of new emerging technologies. Since then, IoT gained global coverage, as more companies worked on advancing and applying it.

In the past, people referred to IoT as “embedded internet.” Today, IoT technology is embedded in many aspects of our lives. The most significant revelation of 2020 is, perhaps, the fact that many people know about IoT, but few understand the true meaning of the tech.

In this article, you’ll learn what IoT is, what are the risks it poses on your organization, and how to protect your network from IoT threats.

What Is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

IoT technology is an umbrella term that refers to connected physical and digital components. IoT components can transmit data without the assistance of human mediators. Each IoT component has a Unique Identifier (UID) that makes it recognizable.

There are currently five types of IoT applications:

  • Consumer IoT—such as light fixtures, home appliances, and voice assistance for the elderly.
  • Commercial IoT—applications of IoT in the healthcare and transport industries, such as smart pacemakers, monitoring systems, and vehicle to vehicle communication (V2V).
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—includes digital control systems, statistical evaluation, smart agriculture, and industrial big data.
  • Infrastructure IoT—enables the connectivity of smart cities through the use of infrastructure sensors, management systems, and user-friendly user apps.
  • Military Things (IoMT)—application of IoT technologies in the military field, such as robots for surveillance and human-wearable biometrics for combat.

16 Internet of Things (IoT) Statistics

IoT technology enables users, systems, and devices, to connect to a wide range of networks, thus expanding the connectivity between the physical and the digital. As more organizations and governments make digital transformation a priority, the adoption of IoT technology increases. The below statistics show the continuous penetration of IoT technology.

How many IoT devices are installed worldwide:

  • In 2018—there were 7 billion IoT devices in 2018
  • In 2019—the number of active IoT devices reached 26.66 billion
  • Every second—127 new IoT devices are connected to the web
  • During 2020—experts estimate the installation of 31 billion IoT devices
  • By 2021—35 billion IoT devices will be installed worldwide
  • By 2025—more than 75 IoT devices billion will be connected to the web

Revenue for the IoT market:

  • In 2016—the global spending on the IoT was $737 billionv
  • In 2018—the North American IoT market generated $83.9 billion in revenue
  • During 2020—global spending on the IoT should reach $1.29 trillion
  • By 2021—the industrial IoT market size should reach $124 billion
  • By 2024—the global IoT healthcare market should reach $14 billion
  • By 2026—Experts estimate that the IoT device market will reach $1.1 trillion

IoT adoption predictions for 2020:

  • 93% of enterprises will adopt IoT technology
  • 80% of industrial manufacturing companies will adopt IoT technology
  • 90% of cars will be connected to the web through IoT technology
  • 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections will be installed

10 IoT Risks to Watch Out for in 2020

Here are the ten most pressing vulnerabilities according to the 2018 Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) IoT Top 10:

  1. Weak, guessable, or hardcoded passwords—such as short, simple, and publicly available passwords.
  2. Insecure or unneeded network services—which are installed on the device and may expose data such as sensitive and financial information to theft and eavesdropping.
  3. Insecure ecosystem interfaces—external interfaces that connect to the device. The connection may compromise the device and its components.
  4. Lack of secure update mechanism—such as un-encrypted data moving from outward sources towards the device, and poor security monitoring.
  5. Use of insecure or outdated components—such as open-source and third-party components that weren’t scanned for vulnerabilities.
  6. Insufficient privacy protection—failure to protect private information that is stored on the device and connected ecosystems.
  7. Insecure data transfer and storage—such as the lack of access control and encryption during the movement of data.
  8. Lack of device management—on devices deployed in production; results in poor security support.
  9. Insecure default settings—the inability to fix insecure settings creates exploits in devices and systems.
  10. Lack of physical hardening—creates a larger attack surface, which threat actors can leverage to take control of a device or system.

This list will be updated during 2020, so keep an eye on the OWASP website.

3 Ways to Protect the Network from IoT

1. Monitor endpoints

IoT components complicate the security perimeter. The more IoT points you connect to the network, the more attack surface you add to the network. You can leverage Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) cybersecurity to protect your network. EDR tools monitor endpoints, proactively look for threats, send alerts during security events, and respond when possible.

2. Scan devices for vulnerabilities

To prevent IoT devices from introducing vulnerabilities into the network, scan the device before enabling the connection. Performing vulnerability scans for devices and systems on a continuous basis can ensure the continued health of the network and its components.

3. Create a dedicated IoT a network

To keep your network secure, consider keeping it segregated from IoT components. You can do so by creating a wireless network dedicated for IoT. This network should have access to the Internet, but not to the corporate network.

Conclusion

IoT devices are set to be embedded in every aspect of our lives. From home appliances to healthcare devices, transport technology, industrial networks, and military weapons. IoT technology enables digital transformation. As more industries undergo digitalization, more IoT devices will be installed and connected to networks.

Whether you’re responsible for the security of a network, or the security of your personal device—you should take IoT security seriously. Hackers can easily take advantage of IoT devices for nefarious reasons. Hopefully, this article has helped you to better understand IoT technology, and how you can protect against IoT vulnerabilities.

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