Key IoT developments to watch in 2018

Numerous IoT shifts are poised to unfold during 2018.

By Max Burkhalter
November 28, 2017
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The internet of things expanded significantly this past year, with more than 8 billion new connected items gaining service, according to research from Gartner. Of course, this growth is expected to continue into 2018, during which consumers and businesses are expected to activate an additional 11 billion IoT items. However, these assets are likely to enter an altered connected environment, as numerous IoT shifts are poised to unfold over the forthcoming 12 months. Here are some of those transformative developments:

IoT security takes center stage
In recent years, cybercriminals have dramatically increased their attacks against individuals and organizations. These nefarious coders have orchestrated more than 1,900 serious data breaches and stolen over 171 million sensitive records this year, according to the analysts at the Identity Theft Resource Center. These figures far surpass those recorded in 2016 and the years prior, indicating that such activity is likely to continue, and worsen, for the foreseeable future. Why? The internet of things is partially to blame, as the influx of exploitable end points has given hackers countless new network entry points, with each smartphone and wearable possessing the potential to become a backdoor. Unfortunately, actionable solutions are few and far between. While mobile device management solutions and detailed IoT policies can mitigate some of the risk, a vast majority of mobile devices will remain vulnerable to cybercriminals. For this reason, IoT security will be a dominate theme in 2018, according to the security firm Malwarebytes.

Businesses in all industries at risk here. However, those in the health care and financial sectors will feel an inequitable impact because these organizations manage highly sensitive information, most of which is protected under key regulatory legislation like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. While these and other firms cannot prevent all intrusions, they can take extra steps to protect their online assets by embracing data security best practices such as strict device authentication. Additionally, companies with IoT programs in place would be wise to partner with data security providers staffed by experts who can offer everyday counseling and mitigate attacks before they unfold.

"Consumers and businesses are expected to activate an additional 11 billion IoT items in 2018."

What sorts of threats will these innovative businesses encounter in the new year? Hackers are poised to employ cryptojacking, which involves mining corporate servers for data. Script-based strikes will become common as well, during which cybercriminals inject corrupt code that functions within an application but slowly communicates with proxies to siphon off information.

The GDPR goes into effect
Legislators within the European Union long pushed for formalized legislation affirming the rights of citizens to control their own information, as well as reforms that simplify data usage in the context of international business operations. In January 2016, these lawmakers achieved these goals with the passage of the General Data Protection Regulation, which established new individual data rights, increased the territorial scope of existing regional data usage policies - particularly those related to businesses - and set out new penalties, according to the EU.

The expansive new law is scheduled to go into effect in May 2018. The impact will be significant, PricewaterhouseCoopers found. Over the course of the two-year grace period that followed the signing of the GDPR, businesses worldwide spent millions preparing. PwC surveyed more than 300 chief information officers, chief product officers and chief compliance officers involved in these efforts and more than 40 percent attested to overseeing budgets of $10 million or more. This means numerous new data security protocols will soon roll out, catalyzing changes in the customer experience. These developments are likely to inform future data security regulation and will certainly generate immense interest throughout 2018.

More IoT adoption resources
While IoT has become mainstream within most industries, the startups inhabiting the space and driving innovation have had limited access to capital. Why? Investors in the digital age are notoriously cautious, reluctant contribute funds to projects that might flop or are not undeniably viable in the marketplace. As a result, IoT firms have long squabbled over smaller amounts. However, this is set to change in 2018, according to the International Data Group.

Investors have indicated that they will offer up increased funds for IoT projects over the next year due to adoption continuing to intensify. Now, sectors where IoT could potentially earn high return on investment are entering the fray, requesting large-scale connected innovations. Venture capitalists and other investors appear poised to lend innovators the funds they need to develop these innovative technologies, setting the stage for further IoT advancement in 2018.

As IoT technology continues to progress during the new year, Perle will be there to provide the essential networking equipment needed to support enterprise connectivity at any scale. Connect with us today to learn more about our work.


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