IoT security risks have reached boiling point, claims new report

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Security risks to the Internet of Things have reached "boiling point", with a "woeful" approach to defending against attacks in the consumer market, a new report has claimed.

Juniper Research's outlook for the IoT market, which predicted there would be 46 billion connected things by 2021, said the threat landscape has widened during 2016.

Research author Steffen Sorrell said: "IoT DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) ‘botnet’ attacks have become infamous in 2016, although in the medium-term, personal data theft, corporate data theft and physical asset damage will be the primary goals for IoT hackers."

The report noted while the enterprise and industry sectors were investing "heavily" in security for their own IoT networks, the consumer market was "woeful" by contrast.

[Read more: Consumer watchdogs take action against unsecured IoT toys]

It said TalkTalk's actions over the recent Mirai Worm were "lax", even though the operator said it had introduced network-level controls to counter the vulnerability and was reviewing any potential impact.

Elsewhere in the report, it said the predicted growth in connected things of 200 percent from this year to 2021 would be fuelled by falling hardware costs.

The industrial and public service sectors will have the highest growth during the next five years, averaging more than 24 percent annually.

However, Sorrell added: “The platform landscape is flourishing; however, analytics and database systems are, for the most part, not architected to handle the Big Data 2.0 era that the IoT brings."

He said that without changing in attitude from service providers, building an IoT project from scratch may be beyond those without dedicated technology experience.

He cited the likes of Exosite's IoT Alliance, a large partner network, and Rubicon Labs' flexible business models, which price according to the value of the data used, are smart ways of moving the area forward.