Mexico City, Mexico (14 October 2015) Is the Internet of Things safe? A new survey from global cybersecurity association ISACA suggests a major confidence gap about the security of connected devices between the average consumer and cybersecurity and information technology professionals.
According to the consumer segment of ISACA’s 2015 IT Risk/Reward Barometer, 82 percent of Mexican consumers are confident they can control the security on the Internet of Things devices they own. Yet, in comparison, only 60 percent of IT and cybersecurity professionals who responded to a parallel survey feel confident about controlling who has access to information collected by Internet of Things devices in their homes. Additionally, 78 percent say manufacturers are not implementing sufficient security in Internet of Things devices.
Mexican consumers (91%) consider themselves somewhat or very knowledgeable about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the average estimated number of Internet of Things devices in their home is seven. Smart TVs top the list of most wanted Internet of Things device to get in the next 12 months, with Internet-connected cameras, connected cars and smart watches also ranked highly.
The worldwide Internet of Things is expected to expand from 1.2 billion devices in 2015 to 5.4 billion connected devices by 2020, according to one estimate.*
The Hidden Internet of Things
ISACA’s survey of IT and cybersecurity professionals globally depicts an Internet of Things that flies below the radar of many IT organizations – an invisible risk that survey respondents believe is underestimated and under-secured:
- 49 percent believe their IT department is not aware of all of their organization’s connected devices (e.g., connected thermostats, TVs, fire alarms, cars)
- 73 percent estimate the likelihood of an organization being hacked through an Internet of Things device is medium or high
- 63 percent think that the increasing use of Internet of Things devices in the workplace has decreased employee privacy
“In the hidden Internet of Things, it is not just connectivity that is invisible. What is also invisible are the countless entry points that cyber attackers can use to access personal information and corporate data,” said Christos Dimitriadis, Ph.D., CISA, CISM, CRISC, international president of ISACA, group director of Information Security for INTRALOT. “The rapid spread of connected devices is outpacing an organization’s ability to manage it and to safeguard company and employee data.”
According to cybersecurity and IT professionals surveyed, device manufacturers are falling short. Seventy-two percent say they do not believe that manufacturers are implementing sufficient security measures in Internet of Things devices. A bigger proportion (84%) believes that IoT device manufacturers do not make consumers aware about the type of information the devices can collect.
Top security measures that Mexican consumers say they perform to protect their privacy are: changing passwords frequently, avoid storing important and personal information in devices and check privacy settings.
“Internet of Things establishes a new platform to develop abilities related to IT in the new products and devices of organizations in order to get key information from its operating processes; as a result of this, security conditions and control are a fundamental part people is expecting from the new digital ecosystem created by manufactures in Latin America,” said Jeimy J. Cano M., Ph.D., CFE, COBIT5, CISO for Ecopetrol S.A, and expert in cybersecurity, data privacy, information security and digital forensics of ISACA Montevideo Chapter.
Ways for Enterprises to Maintain a Cyber-Secure Workplace
- Safely embrace IoT devices in the workplace to keep competitive advantage
- Ensure all workplace devices owned by organization are updated regularly with security upgrades
- Require all devices be wirelessly connected through the workplace guest network, rather than internal network
- Provide cyber security training for all employees to demonstrate their awareness of best practices of cyber security and the different types of cyberattacks
Best Practices for Manufacturers of IoT Devices
- Require all developers who build software to have appropriate performance-based cyber security certification, to ensure safe coding practices are being followed
- Insist all social media sharing be opt-in
- Encrypt all sensitive information, especially when connecting to Bluetooth-enabled devices
- Build IoT devices that can be automatically updated with new security upgrades
ISACA established Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) to help organisations develop their cybersecurity workforce and help individuals advance their cybersecurity careers. For information on CSX, including the CSX 2015 cybersecurity conference and the new CSX Practitioner certification, visit https://cybersecurity.isaca.org.
About the Risk/Reward Barometer
The annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer is a global indicator of trust in information. Conducted by ISACA, the Barometer polls thousands of IT and cybersecurity professionals and consumers worldwide to uncover attitudes and behaviors about essential technologies and information, and the trade-offs people make to balance risk and reward. The study is based on online polling of 7,016 ISACA members in 140 countries from 27 August to 8 September 2015. Additional online surveys were fielded by M/A/R/C Research among 1,227 consumers in the US, 1,025 consumers in the UK, 1,060 consumers in Australia, 1,027 consumers in India and 1,057 consumers in Mexico. The US survey ran 17-20 August 2015, and the UK, Australia, India and Mexico surveys ran 21-30 August 2015. At a 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error for each individual country sample is +/- 3.1 percent. To see the full results, visit www.isaca.org/risk-reward-barometer.
ISACA (isaca.org) helps global professionals lead, adapt and assure trust in an evolving digital world by offering innovative and world-class knowledge, standards, networking, credentialing and career development. Established in 1969, ISACA is a global nonprofit association of 140,000 professionals in 180 countries. ISACA also offers the Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX), a holistic cybersecurity resource, and COBIT, a business framework to govern enterprise technology.
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* ABI Research for Verizon, 2015. http://www.verizonenterprise.com/state-of-the-market-internet-of-things/