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11/14/2017
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Enterprise Physical Security Drives IoT Adoption

The vast majority of respondents to a new survey are deploying IoT technologies for building safety in the form of security cameras.

Enterprises are adopting Internet of Things devices to improve operational processes and cut costs, but the number one reason is for physical security, according to a survey released today.

Based on responses from 400 IT professionals at US, Canada, and UK enterprises, 32% of respondents point to a need for increased physical security as the top IoT adoption driver, according to the State of IoT 2017-2018 report. Other reasons for adoption cited by participants include improved operational processes (23%), reduced operational costs (21%), and simplified management (20%).

IoT Gets Physical

The Spiceworks research, which was commissioned by Cradlepoint, found the vast majority of survey respondents already use IoT technologies, with 71% deploying them for building security that largely comes in the form of security cameras.

"People have different ideas of what is an IoT device. It can be a security camera, motion detector sensors, or an RFID tag on a hanger in a retail store," says Ken Hosac, vice president of IoT business development at Cradlepoint. "These are block and tackle IoT projects."

Hosac says defensive forms of technology that keep a building or merchandise secure is not only a top motivator for enterprises to deploy IoT devices, but they are also among the easiest things to implement.

Mirai Considerations

But as IoT devices become more ubiquitous, so does the potential threat of a cyber attack on these devices. That notion is not lost on enterprises, with 40% of survey respondents listing cybersecurity as a top concern, according to the report.

Mirai, for example, commandeered vulnerable IoT devices, such as security cameras, to launch botnet-enabled DDoS attacks last year and inspired a number of copycat IoT botnets like Persirai.

Hosac advises enterprises to avoid placing IoT devices on their existing networks. Instead he recommends creating a new, separate network for IoT devices, or a software-defined perimeter network with a virtual network overlay on top of an existing network.

"Enterprises think they can buy antivirus software they use on their desktops and laptops and put it on their IoT devices. But with IoT there is a mix of different types of security that is needed," he says, noting some devices are closed systems where it is impossible to even send a software update to the device.

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Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's ... View Full Bio

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