As IoT grows in the enterprise, security needs to evolve with it

Almost two in three respondents to a survey conducted by 451 Research and BlackBerry say their primary concern around digital technologies and processes is security – so is a unified security platform the answer?

As regular readers of this publication will be aware, this is the strategy on which BlackBerry is basing its fortunes, with the term ‘Enterprise of Things’ (EoT) being coined as a result. The strategy is becoming something of a success too; shares shot up by 19% after BlackBerry’s most recent financial results, with CEO John Chen saying the company saw ‘notable strength’ in its unified endpoint management (UEM) arm.

The research sounded out plenty of interest in the unified platform, with more than three quarters (78%) of respondents wanting a solution that allows them to manage all of their endpoints in one place. Two in five (39%) of those polled admit a lack of collaboration among internal departments will hold them back when it comes to unified endpoint management.

Another area of improvement is around formal strategies – only just over one in three (37%) say they have an official digital transformation strategy in place.

The report sets up the situation neatly. “The virtualisation of the physical world enabled by IoT is already changing how products are made, serviced and monetised. Marginal costs to add connectivity to everyday objects is rapidly approaching zero,” the executive summary reads. “While IoT potential is limitless, the challenge to consistently manage and secure every-growing endpoint estates will test IT’s mettle.

“With IoT endpoints, the volume of data that must be both protected and analysed will increase exponentially alongside the number of endpoints themselves that must be secured.”

Ultimately, as those who have seen the coverage around the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability will testify, if a security issue occurs, with large enterprises and a much greater level of devices then the problem exacerbates.

“The proliferation of IoT is being led by enterprises, and they continue to require a unified endpoint management strategy that is capable of scaling to handle billions of connected devices,” said Mary Beard, BlackBerry chief operating officer in a statement. “We are focused on securing the EoT because for all its promise, the expanding adoption of connected things means that companies are only as secure as their most vulnerable endpoint.”

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