In the past couple of years, we’ve seen the emergence of a slew of internet-enabled devices – from smart watches to refrigerators and everything in-between. Figures fresh out of the oven reveal that estimated 8.38 billion internet-connected “things” would be in use by the end of 2017 across the globe.

And this IoT adoption trend doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. In fact, research firm Gartner projects that more than a whopping 20.42 billion IoT devices will be in use by the year 2020.

Security Threats to IoT Devices, a Major Concern for Consumers

However, not all is a bed of roses for IoT industry. According to Consumer Loss Barometer report by KPMG, about 67% of consumers are worried about their IoT devices being hacked. The comprehensive survey polled online users in several countries, including the US, the UK, Brazil, India, and Germany.

The responses varied from country to country, but there was a consensus that consumers worldwide are worried about their internet connected devices being prone to cyber-attacks. Consumers in India and Brazil were the most concerned, with 80% and 88% worried respectively. For the US, about two-thirds seemed to be troubled about their IoT device’s security.

The Age Factor

Of more importance, however, is that the survey also showed that awareness about the threats to IoT gadgets increased with the age of those surveyed. 80% of respondents aged 45 to 54 years reported being aware that there could be security breaches to internet connect devices as opposed to 72% among 18-to 24-year-olds.

More Responsibility from IoT Device Manufacturers

Across the globe, however, consumers expect device manufacturers to play a critical role in ensuring that IoT devices are hacker-proof. That is right; 9 out of every ten respondents felt that it is crucial that smart gadgets have robust security features built in to keep cyber-attack intrusions at bay.

So, why is the thought of connected devices being compromised giving consumers the heebie-jeebies?

Recent Attacks – a Rising Concern

Of course, the fears of consumers are not far-fetched. It seems like every day we are bombarded with news of security breaches and cyber-attacks throughout the world. It was just recently that the world learned of a wide-spread WannaCry ransomware attack.

With major hospitals in the UK, highly secure nuclear power plants, blue-chip tech companies, and government agencies falling prey to these cyber-attacks, consumers feel more vulnerable to security breaches than ever before.

As the internet finds its ways into more and more everyday devices, the concern about cyber-attacks and security breaches will continue to haunt consumers. However, we can count on manufacturers to address the issue urgently.


About Author

Rick is a Serial Entrepreneur, Writer and Head of Marketing at Passionate Marketers.