Executive Summary

The rapid rise of a new generation of connected, intelligent devices – collectively known as the Internet of Things or IoT – is more than just the latest digital disruption to impact businesses of all sizes. The IoT presents vast opportunities for organizations to improve internal efficiencies, serve customers better, enter new markets, and even build new business models.

More IoT devices are coming online each and every day. Through connected devices, health care is improving patient care; for example, a diabetic patient’s blood sugar level can now be monitored remotely, enabling a quick response to a possible life-threatening situation.

The way we drive is also being transformed with advances that enhance safety through features such as hands-free communication or automated response to potentially dangerous situations. For industry and manufacturing, connected devices are being used to create more efficient, productive systems that can track shipments of grain across oceans or monitor oil well pumps, among other capabilities. Even if you are not utilizing the IoT today, you soon will be – and your suppliers and customers will be as well.

The CEO’s framework to help secure the Internet of Things

  1. Assess your risk
  2. Secure both information and devices
  3. Align IoT strategy and security
  4. Define legal and regulatory issues

See Strategic framework for more details

As IoT devices become crucial for keeping up with fast-evolving markets, business and technology leaders must be mindful of the security implications of this new technology. The scale of connected devices greatly increases the volume of data and the complexity of cybersecurity. The challenge grows further as IoT devices are deployed to control infrastructure, such as factory operations and supply chains.

In this report, we define the Internet of Things (IoT) as the digitization of elements of the physical world, in which products and other "things" are outfitted with intelligent sensors and tags that let them communicate across the Internet without human intervention.

Cybersecurity is already top of mind for many organizations. But IoT deployments make it much tougher for C-suite executives to answer the question that corporate boards are asking with growing frequency: Has the IoT increased our exposure to cyberthreats?

Building security from the start into IoT devices and their connecting networks is key to protecting a growing IoT infrastructure. This proactive approach will set the foundation for a strategy that integrates IoT security with existing cybersecurity policies and systems. Such a strategy will also encompass the entire IoT ecosystem – not just your own devices, data, and applications, but those of your partners and customers as well.

In this second installment of Cybersecurity Insights, we help you understand the IoT opportunity, as well as the inherent risks. Most important, we’ll provide a strategic framework for securing IoT, crafted from the work we’re doing with customers across many industries – as well as with our own IoT deployments.