Looking across the Internet of Things (IoT) overall security landscape, it's clear that 'consumer IoT' should be viewed as a separate segment, given that current trends in the implementation and adoption of robust security measures.
The consumer market is composed of a very wide range of hardware vendors -- from large companies to crowdfunded start-ups. Competition in the market is high, but the IoT security value proposition is much more difficult to present to the end-user, relative to other IoT segments.
For context, note that the overall number of connected IoT devices, sensors and actuators in all market segments are forecast to reach over 46 billion in 2021.
Consumer IoT Security Market Development
The consumer IoT installed base will reach over 15 billion units by 2021, an increase of 120 percent over 2016, according to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research.
As evidenced at the CES show earlier this month, embedded connectivity is increasingly being used to differentiate products. Juniper cautioned that the vast scale of this connectivity could -- unless appropriate action is taken -- lead to an unmanageable cyber security risk created by botnets in excess of 1 million units.
Juniper’s latest research found that recent IoT botnets will prove merely to be a genesis of the much greater future cyber security challenge. Case in point: botnets were uncovered as a key factor in the largest DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack ever recorded last year.
Juniper analysts found that the use of botnets to disrupt Internet services form part of the near-term threat landscape. It predicted that botnets will be used for more malicious purposes in future, impacting consumer, industrial and public services markets.
"Attacks such as those on Dyn last October can be viewed as proof of concepts," said Steffen Sorrell, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "In the medium-term, botnets will be used far more creatively – not only to disrupt services, but also to create a distraction enabling multi-pronged attacks aimed at data theft or physical asset disruption."
The research called on IoT device manufacturers to provider leadership by implementing security-by-design, adding that corporate-scale vendors such as Amazon, Google and Samsung should drive efforts to galvanize other vendors to apply security best-practices.
Opportunity for New Vendor Challengers
Additionally, the research found that the market is wide open for challenger cyber security vendors. It highlighted providers such as Crossword and Positive Technologies who are using machine learning to disruptively protect against DDoS and malicious network activity.
According to the Juniper assessment, the industry will be forced to move beyond traditional signature-based detection methods in the near-term in order to address IoT cyber security effectively.