A/NZ sitting on IoT security time bomb

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 13 November, 2017

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Enterprises in Australia and New Zealand are sitting on a ticking security compliance time bomb in terms of internet of things (IoT) and operational technology security, the results of a survey from ForeScout indicate.

Enterprises in the region are most anxious about IoT security among the five global markets covered, with 63% reporting concerns compared to 57% in the UK, 54% in the USA, 52% in France and 45% in Germany.

In addition, 76% of A/NZ business and IT leaders said they are worried that increased usage of IoT devices creates significant security challenges.

The top reasons for this anxiety include the risk of added maintenance and costs (54%), a fear of complexity (41%), the potential damage of a security breach (35%) and the lack of experts in place to manage a solution (35%).

And yet despite these concerns, A/NZ enterprises are underinvesting in IoT security compared to the rest of the world.

The top hurdle to securing IoT connected devices and applications is a lack of budget, cited by 34% of respondents. But only 31% say their organisation plans to allocate a higher budget for IoT security, compared to 44% globally.

Other common challenges include a lack of integration or compatibility with IoT products (30%) and having too large a volume of devices to effectively secure (28%).

“With almost two-thirds of ANZ businesses anxious about IoT security, there is no alignment with budget and focus. There is a definite need for ANZ businesses to conduct a thorough audit of IoT devices to further boost their confidence and relieve some of their anxiety,” ForeScout VP of Global Marketing and GM for APAC and Japan Steve Redman said.

He noted that the survey shows that 68% of A/NZ business and IT leaders are willing to tolerant a medium to high level of risk when it comes to compliance requirements for IoT security.

“When it comes to considering an IoT solution, ease of implementation takes precedence over speed of implementation.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Mila Gligoric

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