Compliance Management, Network Security, Privacy

Consumers’ security fears are curtailing IoT sales: Report


The annual gathering of all things gadget related started in Las Vegas with the opening of CES 2016 this week, but a recent study by Accenture shows consumers may shy away from many Internet of Things-type (IoT) devices over security fears.

The Accenture study, which was conducted between October and November 2015, with 28,000 consumers in 28 countries participating, found that 47 percent of consumers surveyed cited privacy and security concerns as a barrier to adoption of IoT products. Participants in the study also cited price and ease of use as reasons for not adopting new technology.

“This indicates that the consumer technology industry does not have the fundamentals in place – and the consumer trust established – to push into more personalized and sensitive areas as it searches for the next wave of innovation,” the report stated.

Lysa Myers, a security researcher at the security firm ESET, said IoT vendors have a real opportunity to influence consumers' attitudes by baking in security from day one when developing products and making sure potential customers are made aware.

“If customers see that as a whole, device manufacturers consider security from day 0, and they respond well to issues brought up by researchers and other vulnerability reporters, there can be more of sense that we're all working together to help each other be well and protected,” Myers told in an email Tuesday.

Accenture also found that consumers who are aware of recent security breaches, about 66 percent of those contacted, were less likely to adopt or keep an IoT device. Of these folks, 18 percent stopped using such a product until better security could be guarantee because the risk of ownership was not worth the potential reward. An additional 24 percent reported delaying a purchase until security is improved.

Not everyone is worried. Twenty-one percent surveyed said they are not concerned about security breaches and hackers, while 37 percent did say they would be more cautious when using an IoT device.

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