Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s an entire industry of retailers scrambling to prepare themselves for the IoT apocalypse, said technocataclysm can’t be far behind.
That’s the implication from AT&T’s latest Cybersecurity Insights report, “The CEO’s Guide to Securing the Internet of Things.” As interest in what IoT can do for individual retailers mounts, just as concerns over securing their networks from potential attacks surges, AT&T explained that 85 percent of business are either midway through or strongly considering IoT implementation projects. While this may buoy hopes for a smooth transition to an IoT-enabled future of easily managed omnicommerce, AT&T CEO of Business Solutions and International Ralph de la Vega noted that just 14 percent of businesses have processes in place to calculate the security risk to their networks — let alone the resources to actually protect them.
“The Internet of Things is advancing the future of business, bringing new capabilities and efficiencies to companies to help them stay ahead,” de la Vega said in a statement. “However, it is essential to approach IoT with security in mind in order to effectively protect your business. We’re committed to helping our customers stay protected as they deploy these new technologies.”
Perhaps more concerning than a simple lack of awareness on what constitutes adequate security protocols in an IoT world was the fact that many businesses appeared to be sidestepping organizational structures when making these impactful decisions. AT&T found that 85 percent of businesses are considering, exploring or implementing IoT. It also found that 14 percent of business have a formal plan “to understand how many devices they have and whether these devices are secure.” The survey also showed that just 17 percent of companies consult their boards of directors when considering IoT security policies, even though 96 percent of those who did reported high levels of confidence in their subsequent practices.
The logic checks out, especially in a world preparing itself to handle communications from millions of different sources every second — the age of the compartmentalized business decision is bygone, transitioned out in favor of a system in which organizations are better served running complex IoT security policies up the flagpole before pulling the trigger.