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October 31, 2017

IoT crisis looms as 66% of UK consumers fear hackers

Organisations and consumers globally believe that governments should be responsible for IoT industry regulation.

By Tom Ball

With a potential global IoT security crisis looming, the situation in the UK is concerning as UK vendors spend just nine percent of budget on security.

Awareness among consumers appears to be growing, however, with 66 per cent fearing that hackers could gain control of their connected devices.

Widespread concern is made evident as 79 per cent of UK organisations, and 75 per cent of UK consumers believe Government intervention is important to ward off a cyber catastrophe.

These findings have been presented in a survey from digital security provider, Gemalto. The survey also included global statistics, revealing that 96 per cent of organisations and 90 per cent of consumers globally believe the government should regulate the IoT industry.

Joe Pindar, Director of Product Strategy at Gemalto, said: “With GDPR looming, it’s worrying that UK IoT vendors and internet service providers (ISPs) aren’t as serious about prioritising the security of IoT devices as their counterparts across the world. UK consumers are clearly concerned by their IoT data, and are demanding that the government takes more action to ensure that companies are being responsible with it.”

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While general security awareness among consumers in regard to IoT may be improving, still only 19 per cent of UK businesses believe that security is the main consideration for consumers when buying devices. This makes it clear that it is important to continue to drive awareness.

“Regardless of the legislation in place, the first step for securing consumer IoT devices will always be ensuring that robust security controls are in place – including encryption and two-factor authentication. Cybersecurity should never be a box ticking exercise, but a continuous cycle of testing, analysing and repairing any potential vulnerabilities. In order to ensure the UK is reaping the benefits that the IoT ecosystem will bring, the companies producing and enabling these devices need to secure the IoT now, to guarantee consumer confidence in the future,” Pindar said.

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