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Making the IoT secure is key to making it work for trucking

June 5, 2017
IoT security is must-have for trucking and other businesses

One component critical to making the transportation and logistics sector a digitally-based enterprise – and a successful one at that – is the Internet of Things (IoT).

The problem, though, is that the IoT may not be as secure as the movers of freight need it to be. In fact, its security may be in doubt for a whole host of industries, much less those involved in transporting cargo within the U.S. as well as around the world.

According to survey data compiled by strategy consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company, nearly half of U.S. firms using an IoT network have been hit by a recent security breach; exposures that can cost millions of dollars.

Altman’s survey – based on a poll of approximately 400 information technology (IT) executives across 19 industries – showed that 48% experienced at least one IoT security breach, with the cost of said breaches equating to 13.4% of the total revenues for companies with revenues under $5 million annually.

Added to that, nearly half of firms with annual revenues above $2 billion estimated the potential cost of one IoT breach at more than $20 million, the firm noted.

“From teddy bears to cars to warehouse equipment, anything with an Internet connection can be hacked – creating serious financial and legal exposure for companies and safety concerns for workers and consumers,” noted Stefan Bewley, one of Altman’s directors who served as a co-leader on this survey.

“While traditional cybersecurity has grabbed the nation’s attention, IoT security has been somewhat under the radar, even for some companies that have a lot to lose through a breach,” he added in a statement.

“IoT attacks expose companies to the loss of data and services and can render connected devices dangerous to customers, employees and the public at large,” Bewley emphasized. “The potential vulnerabilities for firms of all sizes will continue to grow as more devices become Internet dependent.”

Altman’s poll, however, also discerned that better “digital preparedness” helps on the IoT security front as companies that haven’s experienced a security incursion invested 65% more on IoT security than those who suffered breaches.

The survey also showed that IT decision-makers often chose IoT security solutions based more on provider reputation and product quality rather than focusing on cost as a primary decision driver – something trucking executives should keep in mind.

“We see it being critical for security providers to build a strong brand and reputation in the IoT security space,” noted Ryan Dean, one of Altman’s principals and the other co-director of the firm’s survey.

“When it comes to purchasing decisions, buyers are looking for a brand and product they trust. Price is a secondary concern that buyers tend to evaluate after they have narrowed their options down to a few strong security solutions.”

A few other IoT security findings Altman shared based on its poll include:

  • Some 68% of respondents think about IoT security as a distinct category; yet only 43% have a “stand-alone” budget for it.
  • Despite the fact that separate business units may have different needs, 74% of firms centralize IoT security decisions for their entire organization.
  • After “preventing loss of control over IoT devices,” traditional cybersecurity concerns such as “preventing breaches of customer information” and “preventing breaches of company data” are ranked as the next most important reasons to adopt IoT security.

Points to keep in mind as the freight business continues to digitize.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr 1 | Senior Editor

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