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IoT survey reveals the importance of cybersecurity

The results of a new study conducted to understand consumer concerns around IoT security and data privacy have been released.

The study was conducted in March 2019 by non-profit organisations Internet Society and Consumers international in partnership with market research firm IPSOS Mori.

According to Andrew Sullivan, CEO of Internet Society, the survey results underscore the need for IoT manufacturers to build their devices with security and privacy in mind.

“Security should not be an afterthought. It’s clear that manufacturers and retailers need to do more so that consumers can trust their IoT devices,” Sullivan noted.

Helena Leurent, Director General, Consumers International added: “Consumers have told us they accept that they have some responsibility for the security and privacy of their IoT products but that isn’t the end of the story. They, and we, want to see tangible action from manufacturers, retailers, and governments on this issue. It has to be a collective effort, not the responsibility of one group.”

“We are exploring this conversation with progressive manufacturers. Together we are looking at the opportunity to create person-centered technology, that people not only enjoy using, but feel safe and secure doing so. By doing this business can address the concerns of those not engaging with this tech, and open up the benefits of the Internet of Things to everyone.”

Key study findings include:

  • 77% of consumers say data privacy and security are key contributors to their buying decisions.  28% who don’t own a connected device don’t buy smart products because of these concerns.
  • 65% of consumers are concerned with the way connected devices collect data.
  • 55% of consumers do not trust their connected devices to protect their privacy and 53% do not trust connected devices to handle their information responsibly.
  • 69% of consumers own connected devices, such as smart meters, fitness monitors, connected toys, home assistants, or gaming consoles.
  • A range of products are rushed to market with little consideration for basic security and privacy protections.
  • 88% of survey participants say that regulators should ensure IoT security and privacy standards, 81% say manufacturers should provide assurance and 80% say retailers must address privacy and security. 60% say consumers should ensure their IoT devices are secured.

The study included more than 6300 consumers in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the UK and the US.

For more information about the study, visithttps://www.internetsociety.org/iot/trust-by-design/infographics/.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.