IDG Contributor Network: Transparency, responsibility and accountability in the age of IoT

The Internet of Things market resembles the wild west with its rapid, chaotic growth and lack of effective oversight or security.

Gartner estimates there will be 26 billion IoT devices connecting to the Internet by 2020 – an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009. IoT device manufacturers and enterprise security providers face an enormous challenge trying to scale up the process of identifying and authenticating those devices.

The confidential user data IoT devices collect and share fall under the same strict laws and regulations governing data security that all IT systems do, be they laptops, on-premises databases and cloud computing platforms. Adopting a “Secure by Design” approach to device manufacturing, and prioritizing users’ privacy are key components in fostering transparency, responsibility and accountability in this Age of IoT.

The IoT trend is transforming virtually every aspect of our lives for the better but connecting the ever-growing number of devices creates additional risks to enterprises and consumers. James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, warned of the risks of the IoT to data privacy, data integrity, or continuity of service in a report presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee that stated, “devices, designed and fielded with minimal security requirements and testing, and an ever-increasing complexity of networks could lead to widespread vulnerabilities in civilian infrastructures and US government systems.”