For those in the tech world, trends that weave in and out of our daily lives come as no surprise and in some cases, are welcomed. The Internet of Things (IoT) has had a steady climb to the forefront of the technology trends list, with Gartner forecasting as early as 2013 that IoT would include 26 billion units installed by 2020.
Fast forward five years to the start of 2018 when Samsung Electronics stated at their Consumer Electronics Show that they expect “all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020….[helping] consumers realize the benefit of a seamless and simple connected life.”
Samsung Electronics isn’t the only global brand to see a future in leveraging connected devices to create a more personalized user experience, but security experts are on keen watch as Samsung is joined by consumer electronic companies of all sizes, flooding the market.
Industry experts argue that in the rush to capitalize on the trend, security is rarely at the forefront of product design, leaving devices far more susceptible to attack.
This has propelled the cybersecurity industry towards addressing this concern, with security vendors evolving their existing solutions or creating a separate offering for the IoT environment. It also opened floodgates for start-up security vendors to pioneer a unique place for themselves in the market, specializing solely in addressing the security problems found in the IoT context.
I spoke with several of my senior contacts within the security vendor market to understand what their take was on this issue, and how their products are addressing an industry need. A few of the folks I have spoken with agree that more and more, we are starting to see vendors within this space focusing on one or a few technology elements of an end-to-end IoT security solution.
Cybersecurity writer for CIO Magazine and CSO Online, Kacy Zurkus, commented that “successful IoT security efforts start with knowing the risks to the network and understanding the way IoT devices interact with corporate data.” Perhaps the strategy of vendors like ZingBox (Internet of Medical Things) and Tortuga Logic (hardware security), is to be experts in their niche area of focus, differentiating themselves from more generalist competitors and leveraging their specialism to dominate a specific industry.
A big part of the North American security vendor market consists of small vendors and the entrepreneurship of start ups isn’t likely to decline (though success rate is a different story), however the enterprise security software vendor market continues to be dominated by only a few major players (Symantec, McAfee, Palo Alto). In an industry that insists on keeping us on our toes, I’m keen to see if new growth areas like IoT Security can perhaps shift the enterprise market in the favor of the smaller companies.
What are your thoughts?