The burgeoning number of connected devices as part of the Internet of Things will see the global spend on cyber security technology surpass $1.8 billion by 2020, according to new research from IHS Markit .
It is estimated that the number of IoT devices will rise 15% to hit 20 billion in 2017.
According to the report, the industrial sector – led by building automation, industrial automation and lighting – will account for nearly one half of new connected devices between 2015 and 2025.
Global systems integrator World Wide Technology (WWT) emphasises that the costs associated with cyber security will continue to rise unless firms focus on working smarter rather than harder to defend themselves.
Fear prompted by prominent attacks has pushed up cyber insurance premiums and investment in cyber defence tools, but companies based in the UK and Europe will also have to contend with the impact of the upcoming GDPR on their security measures.
Strict notification requirements to be introduced by the GDPR in 2018 come alongside the potential for fines of up to 4% of global turnover.
“Tools that can help to detect breaches and predict areas of weakness are more important than ever,” said Ben Boswell, UK & Ireland director at WWT. “One of the side effects of the IoT boom is that companies simply won’t be able to achieve complete security if they’re not investing in smart technologies.”
Boswell continued: “we know that having proper information management and data governance procedures in place can dramatically reduce the cost of cyber breaches even if they do happen. But with the increased transparency of the GDPR, avoiding a breach altogether will become even more valuable than simply minimising their impact once they happen.”
“Businesses must turn their attention towards tools which predict areas of weakness, pinpoint risks and identify threats to their entire technology ecosystem. Rather than a network manager working harder and harder to create security at each point of connection, these tools can help enterprises to work smarter in the fight against cybercrime.”
While opening the door to potential vulnerability, the IoT has enormous positive potential, which will expand as connectivity barriers are broken down.
IHS Markit defines IoT as a conceptual framework, powered by the idea of embedding connectivity and intelligence into a wide range of devices.
“These internet-connected devices can be used to enhance communication, automate complex industrial processes and provide a wealth of information that can be processed into useful actions – all aimed at making our lives easier,” said Jenalea Howell, research director – IoT connectivity and smart cities for IHS Markit.