Survey of Enterprises Finds High Anxiety over IoT

A survey by Forrester and the firm Forescout finds business leaders in a state of high anxiety over the Internet of Things, as more connected devices infiltrate the workplace. 

Business leaders are experiencing high anxiety over the connected devices on their networks, claiming that they are unable to identify all the devices in their environments and worried that insecure devices may expose their organization to damaging hacks.

The complexity of Internet of Things deployments on top of existing IT deployments and the possibility for “negative business impacts” from security failures tied to connected devices  has both IT and line of business leaders concerned. Among 600 organizations surveyed, half of the respondents (54%) said that they have “anxiety due to IoT security,” according to the report, which was issued by Forrester Research and the firm ForeScout.

Forescout Infographic
Survey on Internet of Things security concerns

According to the survey results collected from over 600 global enterprise businesses, 77 percent of companies agree that the increased usage of connected devices creates significant security challenges. As a result, 76 percent of respondents said IoT-related anxieties are forcing them to rethink their IT and line of business security strategies, the companies said.

A lack of visibility of Internet of Things risks and a lack of security talent to deal with that risk are prompting anxiety rather than optimism about the advent of connected devices into the workplace.

“IoT and OT bring significant benefits to organizations around the world,” according to Forrester Research. “Enterprises are heading in the right direction when it comes to IoT security investments and our hope is to bring greater awareness to both the challenges as well as the best practices. However, this survey brings to light that more is needed to be done around IoT security.”

Practically, large minorities of those surveyed cited a lack of funding for IoT security efforts and skepticism by senior leadership as barriers to addressing the problem. If audited, 82 percent of those surveyed said they could not identify 100 percent of the devices connected to their network.

Companies need clearer marching orders to secure a new generation of connected devices, with clarity about which groups are responsible for managing and securing connected Internet of Things and OT (operational technology). As more and  different types of connected devices make their way into the workplace, security may need to migrate outside of the IT department and adopt a more hybrid IT and OT role, the companies said.

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