Research Suggests IT Departments Aren’t Prepared for IoT

ISACA, the global association for assurance risk, governance professionals and IT security, has published a research report which points to the fact that while a lot of businesses are aware of the benefits of using Internet of Things applications, platforms and sensors at work are greater than the risks—they have yet to equip there IT departments to counter the potential risks.

The research suggests that the appeal of IoT sensors and wearables is not yet apparent to a large number of businesses. Approximately 50% of the 1,600 EMEA based IT operatives surveyed responded by stating that they believed the monetary benefits of IoT outweigh the potential costs, however close to a third of respondents claimed that they believe in the risks.

Over half of the respondents recognized the increased security threats arising from IoT should be taken seriously, and a further quarter claimed that data privacy was a concern for them. As many as two thirds of the IT professionals surveyed admitted to being extremely concerned with a decrease in personal privacy resulting from the implementation of wearables and other IoT platforms at work.

Ramses Gallego, international VP of ISACA, says that the Internet of Things is here to stay. He predicts a surge in wearables in the workplace in 2015. He acknowledges that while the devices have the potential to deliver value, they also carry a significant level of risk.

Gallego claims that while IoT technologies are very promising, approximately one fifth of IT professionals questioned in the survey claim that the company they work for doesn’t have access to the skills or analytics capabilities to make the best use of the data generated, or to manage the risks associated with the new technology.

Companies must “embrace and educate,” according to Gallego, and they must adapt and implement their IoT strategy or risk falling behind the competition.

One of the biggest problems facing companies seeking to implement IoT is that of standards. There is a range of partially open platforms being developed by a small number of vendors, but without harmonization across the device and protocol specific adapters.

According to Saurabh Sharma, senior software analyst at Ovum, the biggest issue arises from a combination of M2M integration solutions and existing middleware, which only serve the requirements of specific IoT usage situations. The answer to this may be custom interfaces and the implementation of proprietary standards. The possibility of one day having a standard stack of IoT middleware is as yet not upon us.

What do you think? Do IoT risks outweigh rewards? Or vice versa? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.