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For a safer Internet of Things

Barely a day goes by without some reference to the Internet of Things (IoT). At home and at work, connected objects are set to make our day-to-day lives easier and more efficient — but how can we make this new interconnected world safer and more secure?

Spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is skyrocketing. New research by IDC[1] predicts that investments will grow by an average of 16.9% a year in the near term to reach $1.7 trillion in 2020. As they move ahead with their digital transformation, increasing numbers of enterprises are embracing the IoT, a new world of connected objects defined by IDC as "a network of networks of uniquely identifiable endpoints that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity".

But what about security? Just how secure is the data transmitted from endpoint to endpoint with no human interaction in the middle?
Let's take a look at the security aspects of these booming markets and the implications they may have for organisations today.

A burgeoning market

IDC forecasts that devices, connectivity and IT services will make up the majority of the global IoT market in 2020, with devices (modules/sensors) alone representing 31.8% of the total.
Also according to IDC, the biggest opportunities lie in the enterprise and public-sector markets. Deloitte agrees that companies will see the majority of the economic benefits of the IoT, estimating that 90% of IoT service-related revenues will come from the enterprise sector rather than consumer markets.
Between now and 2020, smart cities are expected to lead the march, followed closely by healthcare, energy and other industries.

Opportunities and limitations

To handle the vast amounts of data sourced from connected objects, Big Data technologies offer a whole range of opportunities for companies and new ways to create value for stakeholders.
By analysing and interpreting these new-found digital assets, companies can adapt their strategies as new trends emerge and improve the bottom line. Profitability and productivity go hand in hand: the IoT will also make the workforce more productive as companies find new ways to communicate and interconnect business applications and data sets.

But there's a catch. Connected objects and IoT-related services make it possible to analyse, store and exploit vast amounts of data. However, much of the data may be personal or company confidential — and that raises a number of legal concerns.
Protecting data confidentiality and user privacy is one of the major limitations facing this market, but also a key success factor for the future.

IoT security issues underestimated

The challenge of securing connected objects and the data they exchange is often underestimated. With security vulnerabilities affecting an estimated 80% of the 4 billion connected objects in service today, the market for IoT security is both substantial and critically important to the future of this new connected world.
At work and at home, wherever we go and whatever we do, information systems are part of our way of life. And today, many of the sensors and controllers developed for industrial users are permanently connected to the Internet. As the frontiers of cyberspace expand, the need to protect these objects from cyber threats has become an issue of major importance and a priority for governments all over the world.

Thales and IoT security

As a global technology leader and one of Europe's leading players in the security market, Thales is naturally addressing the need for dependable security solutions to protect intelligent objects. Working with the CITC[2] in France, we have developed the Secure Connected Objects Platform (SCOP), a technical platform designed to evaluate the security of connected objects. The SCOP provides security assurance for connected objects throughout the life cycle and guarantees the confidentiality, integrity, availability and auditability of data generated by the connected objects in service today.

Read more: Spotlight on the SCOP


[1] IDC -
[2] Centre d’innovation des technologies sans contact