Frost & Sullivan: Further Progress in M2M towards Internet of Things Requires a Focus on Security Risks

Frost & Sullivan: Further Progress in M2M towards Internet of Things Requires a Focus on Security Risks

Strong focus on security necessary to drive continued M2M deployment in enterprises.

In the next phase of M2M market development that is moving towards an Internet of Things (IoT) future, security requires a holistic approach. Huge increases are expected in the number of machines and objects that communicate with humans and other machines/objects, each processing real-time (or near real-time) data. In such an M2M world, security must become a core component of an enterprise’s consideration when using M2M to achieve business objectives.

Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst, ICT, Yiru Zhong, explained:

“Traditional M2M deployments have security solutions embedded within the network, with the integrity of the underlying communications network being boosted by existing network security solutions.”

M2M value chain participants – integrated chips manufacturers, SIM card vendors, manufacturers of M2M modules and communication-enabled devices as well as connectivity network providers – have always embedded security solutions within their own products. One of the common comments from these vendors when asked about enterprise adoption of more secure hardware in the lower levels of an M2M network is that current M2M deployments do not actually require a higher level of security. However, in future scenarios, security risks could be magnified or prevalent because of the way M2M applications will be delivered.”

For example, such key ICT trends as cloud computing, increasing enterprise and personal mobility, and Big Data, will affect the way security risks materialise in a generic M2M architecture. While there is no doubt that enterprise reliance on machine data and resultant intelligence will increase – especially as technology tilts the cost-benefit equation through greater efficiency, productivity, and the potential for new revenue streams – security will be a key requirement by enterprises considering M2M deployments.

In addition to the tremendous number of devices and objects that are going to be connected through communications networks, future M2M deployments will reach deeper into enterprise operations,” observed Zhong. ”Coupled with the development of IoT, this will mean that enterprise M2M deployments could potentially be connected to other systems to enable a true connected-society. The potential application of Big Data in such a setting will demand a well-defined risk analysis policy in terms of data security, trust, and privacy.”

Ericsson’s prediction of 50 billion connected devices by 2020 that would create a truly “networked society,” has seven years to go. ICT industry participants, as well as standardisation and international bodies, are already working towards a viable and sustainable ICT framework for M2M progression. These workgroups will have to incorporate both the needs of enterprises and behaviour of digital citizens in the next generation M2M and IoT scenarios. The outcomes will go a long way in helping ICT industry participants define future security considerations and propose solutions for the safe operation of a connected world.

Since enhanced security will begin at the lower layers of M2M architecture, M2M modules manufacturers, connectivity providers, and application enablement platform firms will all play important roles in the creation of a market leading portfolios and building a strong ROI business case for enterprises to deploy M2M,” summarised Ms Zhong.

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