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IoT’s Threat is Connectivity; Not Security

Of all the challenges facing IoT developers today the issue of security has consistently taken the spotlight for both consumer and industrial applications alike.

However, despite extensive mainstream publicity painting IoT as an enabler of everything from industrial sabotage to an invasion of privacy on the contents of your freezer, an alternative threat to the future of IoT is beginning to emerge.

IoT’s reliance on a constant supply of supporting networks is significantly more fundamental to its prevalence than ever-present security concerns would lead many to believe, with many IoT professionals beginning to regard existing network infrastructure as IoT’s veiled bottleneck.

According to Inmarsat, many will miss out on the benefits of IoT if the supporting network infrastructure is anything short of high-speed, with terrestrial networks often failing to reach the required standard. Resultingly, users will be unable to utilise much of the superior asset monitoring or complex dataset analysis IoT will be able to offer.

Mike Holdsworth, Inmarsat’s Director of Transport explains – “Terrestrial communication networks may only provide sufficiently reliable connectivity solutions for IoT to function in parts, meaning vital assets may enter communications blackspots when they are at most risk, in remote and potentially hazardous environments”.

Returning to the issue of security, it’s important to consider whom the responsibility of a secure and stable IoT infrastructure falls upon. IoT device manufacturers, who are the first point of contact for many customers, have proven their capabilities in providing secure devices while regulating the software on which they operate. From the point of connection to a network however, the device is exposed to an array of additional threats and thus the responsibility of digital safety lies more heavily on networks than currently presumed.

Dashboard’s research echoes Holdsworth’s statement, and this would suggest further investment is required in order to provide IoT infrastructure with the reliable and resilient network necessary for it to operate to its maximum effect. Furthermore, through addressing the issues of connectivity, appropriate allocation of responsibility with regards to security can be more thoroughly navigated.