The substantial financial upside opportunities associated with nascent M2M services has attracted the attention of mobile network operators globally risks being thwarted by the growing security concerns in M2M applications.
Porous security is exposing vulnerabilities in a large number of use-case scenarios, including SCADA systems, telemedicine, and telemetry.
Most M2M applications are lacking the basic security requirements that have been a defacto standard for information and communication technologies elsewhere.
If not addressed sooner, this weak link could throttle the successful adoption of M2M in healthcare, industrial installations, and consumer homes, according to the findings from the latest market study by ABI Research.
"The markets ability to respond to these security challenges at the application level is still underdeveloped," says Michela Menting, senior analyst in cyber security at ABI Research.
When faced with security requirements, the focus has been to tighten the screws at the network level, often to the detriment of the application, leaving it un-patched and exposed.
However, the horizontal evolution of M2M will require full end-to-end security. Significant efforts need to be invested into M2M application security in order for the M2M market to fully evolve.
Whether this is through open source initiatives or standards development, the demand for increased M2M application security will have to be answered, and sooner rather than later.
A number of M2M vendors have already started putting more emphasis on M2M application security in a bid to anticipate future market opportunities.
While the market is still relatively niche, ABI Research forecasts strong growth over the next five years, with global revenues reaching $198 million by 2018.
ABI's latest report on the topic studied the challenges and the addressable market for M2M Application Security, complementing the analyses tackled in their related report about M2M Network Security.