Businesses across just about every vertical continue to build IoT applications to generate new sources of revenue, improve productivity, and lower costs.

Here are some of the ways they’ve been doing that:

  1. In commercial real-estate IoT sensors detect fires, save on lighting costs, and prevent theft by detecting presence of potential thieves.
  2. In manufacturing, Oden Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of data collection devices, is using IoT devices to increase operational efficiency by reducing the number of VM instances required to run their equipment.
  3. In retail, Helly Hanson is using IoT devices to help them determine optimal staffing levels, improve marketing strategies, and enhance customer service.
  4. In life sciences, companies such as ResMed are using IoT for a variety of applications such as
    1. Running sensors on machines to facilitate efficient production and improve reliability and responsiveness of supply chains
    2. Running sensors to proactively mitigate machine failure in product processes
    3. Monitor connected medical devices to anticipate required maintenance and proactively services devices
    4. Monitoring medication intake in clinical trials through motion sensors and facial recognition technologies
  1. In Financial services, digital transformation (sometimes referred to as “Industry 4.0”) has taken hold in the prevalence of increasingly connected offices, conference rooms, ATMs and retail bank outlets.

Consultancies and fin-tech analysts tout benefits to come such as improved access to cash and credit services, increasingly personalized services, and improved cross-sell opportunities.

In the meantime, anyone who has walked into a physical bank or used an ATM in 2020 knows that the many of these predictions are now a reality.  Tablets reduce wait times in lines, banks themselves free gourmet coffee and wifi to customers who connect to that free wifi with whatever devices happen to be on their person, CCTV cameras are everywhere, and the buildings housing all of this wonderful technology are themselves controlled through internet-connected temperature sensors, card readers and other devices collectively referred to as Building Management Systems (BMS).

All of these devices offer great promise in terms of their ability to generate new sources of revenue, improve productivity and lower costs.  However the increase in the number of IoT applications also increases the attack surfaces at the companies in each of these verticals.

When we talk to CISOs at global banks, for example, we hear that they are aware of the risks that their increasing reliance on IoT applications bring, but that they’ve yet to prioritize or plan how to mitigate those risks. For instance, they don’t yet know how many tablets are accessing guest networks in their branch offices or how many IoT devices are in their BMS, or what “normal” vs. “anomalous” traffic between those devices looks like.

These conversations lead us to wonder if the rush to capitalize on the benefits of IoT applications has increased the risk these innovative companies face.

Click here to learn about how CyberX addresses risk posed by IoT applications through asset discovery, risk management and threat monitoring for IoT.