IoT stands for 'Increase of Threats' for many CIOs

Ask CIOs what they think of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the first thing they are likely to say is increased security nightmares.

That is the finding of a new study by GFI Software, which examined the impact that IT administrators expect the IoT will have on their organizations. GFI shared highlights of its research in an email to FierceMobileIT.

"The survey of 202 IT decision makers in U.S. workplaces employing up to 250 people was conducted by Opinion Matters for GFI Software, and revealed that the growing relevance of IoT for small- and medium-sized businesses means growing security threats, greater device management challenges and increased costs for IT," the firm noted.

Specifically, survey respondents cited greater exposure to existing and undiscovered threats, particularly from mobile devices, as among their most pressing concerns about the impact of the IoT. More than three-quarters of IT administrators expect their security practices will change as a result of IoT.

"Disruption is a significant concern, as 96.5 percent of IT decision makers surveyed said that IoT would produce at least some negative impacts for their organizations, with more than half (55 percent) saying it will impose new security threats while extending existing threats to a greater number of devices," the firm said.

"Furthermore, 30 percent said IoT will result in an increased IT spend, while 26.7 percent expected device management to spiral out of control as a result of the rise of IoT. Fourteen percent expect that deploying patches across multiple platforms will present a particular challenge."

Finally, the increasingly prominent role that wireless devices play in the workplace increases security risks in general for any organization, the study says.

"When it comes to IoT, the risks from mobile devices become particularly acute, according to survey respondents, 81.7 percent of whom indicated that mobile devices create the most potential as a point of exploitation in the IoT age," the study concluded.

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