Chances are, you’ll hear a lot more about the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2015 -- and it might not all be good. Although IoT is clearly gaining momentum, consumers are concerned about privacy and security.
Nearly 65 percent of American consumers are moderately or extremely interested in adopting smart home solutions, according to new research from the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTC). And 71 percent of those consumers buy smart home products and services based on word-of-mouth referrals from people they trust or in-store employee recommendations.
"This survey highlights that IoT is moving towards mass adoption, but that industry leaders must make their connected home solutions intuitive, simple and cost-effective to put into play," said Nate Williams, CMO of Greenwave Systems, a global IoT software and services company. "Consumers don't really care how they manage their smart devices, but they want a frictionless experience -- ideally with a solution that someone else installs for free -- that saves them money and improves their quality of life over the long-term."
Security Threats Emerge
That said, two-thirds of respondents are concerned about privacy. In fact, across age, gender and income, 66 percent of survey respondents express concern about privacy. Researchers say this finding highlights the need for industry participants to mitigate privacy and security concerns to drive the industry forward.
"Data security and identity protection are clearly top of mind for consumers looking at IoT products and services," said Jack Ogawa, Director of Marketing for NXP Semiconductors. "The developing IoT industry has an opportunity to utilize state of the art software and semiconductor technology to set the standard for secure connections, both in the Cloud and in the connected IoT products themselves."
We caught up with Adam Kujawa, head of malware Intelligence at anti-malware and Internet security software firm Malwarebytes, to get his thoughts on the security front. He told us we would see the first major IoT attack in 2015.
“Both mainstream media and the general public will hear about the first major hacker attack against an Internet-connected device that was previously not connected,” Kujawa said. “Take, for example, a thermostat that can be controlled over the Internet.”
Anthony DiBello, director of security, Guidance Software, which provides software solutions for digital investigations, told us he sees potential threats from the IoT.
“Something as seemingly innocuous as a connected coffee machine or smart fridge could now pose a risk to the rest of the enterprise,” DiBello said. “Procurement teams should consult the security team, and we need to set guidelines before any IoT device is purchased. The security team will also need to do regular scans of their machines to ensure there have been no breaches.”
Good News for Advertisers
Despite these concerns, respondents are still pressing into IoT. Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents want to be able to enhance their home entertainment experiences by transferring shows and content from one device to another. The same percentage of respondents also wants to control their home appliances using a voice assistant.
In welcoming news for marketers, U.S. consumers said they would be open to viewing advertisements on connected home devices. Over a third said they would be willing to accept commercial advertising if it helped subsidize the cost of connected home products or services.
"We need to deliver products to consumers that have clear value and delight them," said Bharat Vasan, COO of August, a company that builds products that aim to make life simpler. "We can't underscore enough the impact ease of use and experiential learning can have on the IoT industry, as smart home products are being made more widely available through retail distribution."
Image credit: iStock/Artist's concept.
PJ of the Hillpeople:
Posted: 2015-01-02 @ 12:42pm PT
99.9% of American Consumers get their Nightmares through a straw and have the I.Q. of a donut. Please stop enabling them and their brain-damaged "dreams".
Posted: 2015-01-01 @ 4:55pm PT
I surely prefer the PrIoT Manifesto over what is currently sold under the IoT banner, however the PrIoT Manifesto is not enough to deal with the serious concern raised by Mr. Kaplow's concern about active digital debris.
IoT devices are acceptable in my environment only if they are (1) flashable; (2) fully documented; and (3) accompanied by source code.
Unless buyers can keep supporting and updating the devices after sellers lose interest, I do not intend to buy.
Posted: 2015-01-01 @ 1:26pm PT
This is why the PrIoT Manifesto was announced.
Posted: 2014-12-31 @ 10:47am PT
The proliferation of IoT devices into long-lived environments, based on the weak ecosystems that supports these devices today, [means] we are now leaving active digital debris all over the place. What IoT surprises will you find in your new house?