Is Your Data Center Ready for IoT Security Challenges?

IoT Security Challenges

The Internet of Things is coming. But the security and privacy issues that come with it will be challenging. Is your data center ready?

The Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT): Security and Privacy Challenges

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected “things” will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.1

This explosion of connected devices—as well as emerging technologies, such as virtual/augmented reality and machine learning—will require unprecedented levels of processing, connectivity, storage, and decreasing latency requirements.

The infrastructure needed to power this new connected revolution will be immense. According to IDC, installed service provider data center capacity consumed by machine-to-machine workloads will increase nearly 750% between 2014 and 2019.2 That’s immense.

Make no mistake, the Internet of Things (IoT) is real, it’s coming, and organizations that figure out how to capitalize on the rewards it can bring will be ahead of the game. The Internet of Things (IoT) will also require organizations to consider challenges around IoT security, privacy, and latency.

IoT security challenges

But there are some challenges, particularly around IoT security and privacy.

Many organizations still struggle just to integrate and secure smartphones and other user-owned mobile devices into their networks. Not only do they not have a means to automatically provision and secure these devices, many corporate security policies related to the use of personally owned devices in the workplace (or other IP-enabled devices) exist only at a bare minimum, don’t exist at all, or are enforced through policy only (data loss prevention, for example).

The ability to automatically provision and secure any device, any time will be key to effectively operating within the connected Internet of Things ecosystem and overcoming IoT security and privacy issues.

IoT privacy challenges

As more and more devices become connected within the Internet of Things, key issues around IoT privacy will also come into play.

For example, your smartphone can pinpoint your location almost any time—a convenience when you’re trying to locate a nearby business or get driving directions.

As the location services on your phone control more and more smart devices, such as your thermostat, more organizations will have access to your location information introducing new security and privacy challenges.

A note about latency

Networks still have speed limitations that introduce latency—latency that won’t be tolerated in a connected world.  Consider the impact of a couple of seconds of latency on a driverless car that is turning or stopping. Having real-time knowledge of its exact location and when to turn is critical.

Gearing up (or digitally delivering) your infrastructure for the Internet of Things

So how prepared is your organization for the onslaught of connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT)? According to research commissioned by our IO.UK data centre and cybersecurity specialist Webroot,3 71% of business leaders agree that improving network infrastructure and capacity is a primary focus for IoT investment, often driven by the inadequacy of their existing networks; nearly a quarter of businesses (24%) say that their current information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure is a barrier to successful IoT adoption.

But the key to an IoT-enabled infrastructure is to invest in the infrastructure for the long term, not just to think about quick wins, suggests IO UK’s Business Development Director Andrew Roughan.4 He goes on to say:

“There are some initiatives that can drive change quickly and deliver some customer-facing and online benefits, but this is about more than that—it’s about defining the next era of the enterprise, beyond five or ten years. The infrastructure to support IoT needs some careful consideration, as typical enterprise-scale infrastructure investments won’t enable the IoT to scale economically.”5 

To learn more, download IoT: Risk or Reward? to see how your concerns compare with those of the UK business leaders that were surveyed.

1 “Gartner Says 6.4 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2016, Up 30 Percent From 2015,” Gartner press release, 11/10/2015.

2 “IDC: Datacenter investments critical to IoT expansion,”, 04/27/2015.

3 “IoT: Risk or Reward,” a research report by OnePoll and commissioned by IO and Webroot, 2016.

4 “IoT: Risk or Reward,” a research report by OnePoll and commissioned by IO and Webroot, 2016.

5 “IoT: Risk or Reward,” a research report by OnePoll and commissioned by IO and Webroot, 2016.

DISCLAIMER: This document is for reference purposes only. The information contained herein should not be relied on and neither IO Data Centers, LLC nor any of its affiliates makes any warranties or representations as to its accuracy.