IoT and the New Need for Cyber Security

gps in car

Technology is a fast paced industry that’s constantly redefining the way we do business and live our day-to-day lives. In the same way the personal computer changed the world, IoT (Internet of Things) promises to be just as disruptive.

IoT is technology that’s able to interact with other technology, like smart grids that can predict maintenance needs, self-driving automobiles and smart homes that are energy efficient and fully integrated with our phones and computers. While IoT has the capability to improve our lives and increase productivity, it also opens the door to new challenges and risks.

Protection Against the Unknown

A fully integrated society has a lot of upsides, but carries a new kind of risk, as well. Most types of technology run the risk of hacking, viruses and other malware. As such, a new type of defense in needed – cybersecurity.

Right now, companies like Symantec – known for it’s Norton antivirus software – are developing new methods to combat technological risks using A.I.-based software protocols. As IoT becomes more and more integrated, the need for additional and more advanced protection tools will become necessary.

For instance, Symantec developed a solution for auto manufacturers in 2016 to help defend integrated vehicles against zero-day attacks – attacks made on new technology that hasn’t yet been publicly released. The healthcare field is especially susceptible to these kinds of attacks. Smart technology that can help diabetics control sugar levels and wearable devices to monitor heart rates and other vitals is a life-saving breakthrough in technology, but may also open the door to insidious viruses and malware that could be used to harm or even kill.

Because IoT technology is still new, there isn’t much in the way of protection developed yet. Hackers could easily take control of a moving vehicle, break through corporate firewalls and steal data, or even crash power grids. As such, standard IT protection like network monitoring and segmentation will become vital to the successful integration of IoT.

There is an upside to cybersecurity needs for investors, though. With all the advances in technology and subsequent risks involved, it opens the door for a whole new industry aimed at cybersecurity and online protection. Companies that specialize in IoT defensive needs will be big business and investors can cash in on the trend by investing in those types of stocks.

Over the next 5 years, investment in IoT security is expected to increase by a factor of five, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the market. As a lasting trend, it’s a long term investment that could be the next big bull market.