As corporations across industries look to leverage the Internet of Things for improved customer interaction, risk management and more, securing the influx of data from smart devices is becoming a top priority.

Gartner predicts that spending on Internet of Things (IoT) security will reach $348 million worldwide in 2016, nearly 25 percent more than was spent last year. Spending is expected to grow at that rate until at least 2020, the analyst firm believes.

"The market for IoT security products is currently small but it is growing as both consumers and businesses start using connected devices in ever greater numbers," says Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. "However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritization and security awareness."

Ruggero Contu
Ruggero Contu

The risk is real, Gartner says. It predicts that about a quarter of cyber attacks this year will involve IoT devices in some way. That's because IoT development hasn't generally been centralized, nor has it been given the same amount of rigor that other IT implementations have traditionally received.

"IoT business scenarios will require a delivery mechanism that can also grow and keep pace with requirements in monitoring, detection, access control and other security needs," Contu says. "The IoT's fundamental strength in scale and presence will not be fully realized without cloud-based security services to deliver an acceptable level of operation for many organizations in a cost-effective manner.”

It's expected that there will be about 6.4 billion connected devices in use worldwide this year, but that should nearly double by 2018 to 11.4 billion, Gartner says. Connected cars and other heavy commercial equipment, like heavy trucks, commercial aircraft, and farming and construction equipment, are expected to lead the way.

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