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A Wi-Sun Alliance study highlights some significant data protection concerns due to IoT adoption

Security issues within an organization have always been significant, but since enterprises adopted Internet of Things (IoT) alternatives, this threat has been minimized to a certain level. WI-SUN Alliance, a global industry directing organizations striving to adopt wireless systems and networks for utilities and IoT devices, reveals that firms (adopting IoT) might be less concerned about security than in 2017.

WI-SUN’s study stems from discussions with IT personnel from the United States and the UK adopting IoT technology in their primary industries, for example, construction, government, telecommunications, energy resources, etc. The report highlights that after years of sustained progress, the coronavirus pandemic and other economic uncertainties drop IoT market growth. But, now, IoT is a more considerable IT preference than ever for almost every organization. So, when IT experts were questioned about challenges, they ranked security as the main challenge when introducing IoT dropped from 58 percent five years before to 24 percent in the current year. In addition, other IT experts see IoT as a technical challenge that fell from 65 percent five years back to 42 percent in the current year, highlighting fewer concerns but still firms considering it as a problem.

On one side, we see fewer concerns about security than before, but on the other side, there are rising concerns over data protection. For IoT adopters, one of the secondary challenges is the proper regulation of data through a channel. The challenge can be characterized as political, economic, or even social with 36 percent, and it comes after the need to emphasize spending because of the pandemic, 37 percent. The WI-SUN Alliance recognized fears over massive data have escalated from 11 percent in 2017 to 19 percent, according to IT respondents placing it in their major three Internet of Things (IoT) rollout challenges. Adding to this growth could be the imposition of new privacy legislation, including the General Data Protection (GDPR) initiatives and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

WI-SUN Alliance CEO says that data privacy concerns are heightened, with growing number of laws highlighting the importance of data protection. Furthermore, a lot of pressure can be seen on companies to take steps to ensure data safety. The study points out that there were relatively more concerns in the United Kingdom than in the United States. Around 53% of companies prioritize safe data collection in their IoT applications, whereas only 34% of companies in the US care about this practice. Wireless IoT devices, for instance, smart metering and streetlights, are rapidly producing a massive amount of data, and this data should be adequately monitored. The report indicates a rapid number of attacks on these nonstandard computing devices over the past two years, causing a threat to data safety and leading to distributed-denial service attacks.

In the end, enterprises must strive hard to overcome all sorts of technical and non-technical concerns, including IoT solutions. As per the CEO of WI-SUN, it is vital to invest in IoT in the upcoming months to remain competitive.

Illustration: Freepik

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