Despite security risks, businesses are moving forward with Internet of Things (IoT) platforms with usage growing year-over-year in almost all industries.

Last year, 61 percent of companies globally implemented IoT applications as the technology benefits businesses with savings, new income streams and increased production efficiency, according to a report from Kaspersky entitled, “With superpower comes super responsibility: benefits and challenges of IoT in business.” However, the fact remains 28 percent of organizations experienced cybersecurity incidents targeted at connected devices, highlighting the importance of protecting IoT technology.

IoT increases the level of comfort experienced at home and in cities, and helps to solve resourcing issues. It also allows organizations to measure production performance, introduce automation and increase efficiencies.

Due to these benefits, Gartner predicts there will be approximately 25 billion IoT connections by 2025. However, the popularity of IoT systems makes them more susceptible to experiencing cybersecurity incidents, and thus they must be appropriately protected so they can continue delivering a positive impact on businesses and people.

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IoT platforms are used in different use cases including smart cities, grids, metering, transportation and logistics, as well as automated manufacturing and connected heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC).

Kaspersky’s report shows the use of IoT platforms has increased in almost all industries from 2018 to 2019.

The growth of IoT use is not slowing down despite potential cybersecurity risks and incidents. As Kaspersky’s survey shows, 28 percent of companies using IoT platforms stated they experienced incidents involving non-computing connected devices last year. These incidents can be critical as sensors and smart devices collect terabytes of data, including sensitive information such as business data or customers’ personal information. Additionally, IoT platforms can be connected with critical systems like traffic, power or transportation processes, so it is vital to ensure their continuity and integrity.

“IIoT has clearly passed the ‘hype’ stage, not to say there isn’t still hype, but there are serious technical and business process results to apply today,” said Dr. Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). “The IIC has already started publishing results from our testbeds. The biggest challenge the industry faces is resistance to change – or to be radical – more efficient change. Industrial IoT means big changes in every vertical, and they must come to terms with it.”

“IoT is a powerful business enabler, but to reap its benefits, organizations need to put in a considerable amount of effort,” said Grigory Sizov, head of Kaspersky OS Business Unit, Kaspersky. “It demands dedicated business processes and expertise to ensure it is effectively implemented. As the survey shows, cybersecurity is also a question that needs resolving in the IoT space when it comes to security of equipment, technical and organizational protection measures, data privacy, etc.”

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