Most Consumers Believe Security Should Be Built Into IoT Devices

A new global survey by Irdeto found that IoT security is a collective responsibility between consumers and manufacturers.

LAS VEGAS — A large majority (90%) of consumers polled from six different countries believe it is important that Internet of Things (IoT) devices have security built into the products, according to a new online survey conducted by digital platform security company Irdeto.

Findings from the Irdeto Global Consumer IoT survey were announced at the recent Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The company questioned 7,882 consumers in Brazil, China, Germany, India, United Kingdom and the United States about who they feel should be responsible for implementing IoT security.

Among the respondents, 78% indicated they are aware that any smart device connected to the WiFi in their home has the potential to be targeted by a hacker, resulting in a cyberattack that could steal the personal data stored on the device.

Cyber-Threat Awareness Improves With Age

The survey also found that awareness of cyber threats targeting connected devices actually increases with age. Of all consumers surveyed online, 72% of millennials (18-24 years old) indicated that they are aware that any smart device connected to the WiFi in their home has the potential to be targeted by a hacker, compared to 82% of consumers 55 and older.

This indicates that older generations may be more savvy about IoT security or more cautious regarding IoT technology than millennials, potentially leaving this younger generation more open to a cyberattack.

When asked if consumers or manufacturers are responsible for implementing security, the results indicate that both parties play an important role. More than half of consumers around the globe (56%) think that it is the responsibility of both the end user and the manufacturer of the product to prevent hacking of smart devices.

Alternatively, only 15% of consumers globally think they are responsible, while 20% feel the manufacturer of the device is responsible for cybersecurity.

“While consumers across the globe believe that IoT devices need to have security manufactured into the product in order to prevent against cyberattacks, it’s encouraging that they also recognize the important role they play in IoT security,” says Mark Hearn, director of IoT security, Irdeto. “Today’s connected world needs consumers to be vigilant about security threats. On the device manufacturer side, there must be a better ‘defense-in-depth’ approach to cybersecurity that integrates multiple layers of security into a system. This approach, combined with ongoing security updates to protect against the latest threats, is critical to mitigate attacks targeting IoT technologies.”

Regarding the number of smart devices consumers own, 89% of those surveyed have at least one connected device in their home. In addition, 81% of consumers across the globe admitted to having more than one connected device in the home.

India led all countries with 97% of consumers stating that they have at least one smart device in the home, compared to only 80% of U.S. consumers, the lowest of all countries. The survey also found that the typical number of connected devices in homes across the globe is around four per household.

By enhancing security strategies to disrupt a hacker’s business model, manufacturers are better able to defend against cyberattacks targeting IoT technologies to protect consumers, their brand reputation and revenue, says Jaco Du Plooy, vice president of Cloakware, Irdeto.

“As the number of connected devices in homes and businesses grows, hackers will increasingly look for easily exploitable vulnerabilities that exist in smart devices,” he says. “As a result, it is important to disrupt a hacker’s business model by making it difficult to reverse engineer software and leverage code vulnerabilities, thus making it less cost-effective to execute an attack.”

To download the full survey results, go here.

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