35% of IT pros in APAC report greater accessibility to info; 24% boosted customer satisfaction
38% cited increased security threats as biggest governance concern from IoT trend
MORE than half (59%) of Asia Pacific organisations have plans to capitalise on the increase of connected devices known as the ‘Internet of Things,’ according to ISACA, the global association of 110,000 IT security, assurance, governance and risk professionals.
Nearly four in 10 (39%) have already been impacted by this trend, according to the IT professionals surveyed in its 2013 IT Risk/Reward Barometer, ISACA (previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association) said in a statement.
Furthermore, 35% of the IT professionals surveyed in the Asia Pacific region report that their enterprises have already achieved greater accessibility to information due to the Internet of Things (IoT); 32% have experienced improved services; and 24% have achieved increased customer satisfaction and employee productivity.
Conducted by ISACA, the IT Risk/Reward Barometer asked 2,013 IT professionals who are its members, including 343 from the Asia Pacific region, about the risks and rewards of key trends, including IoT. The study is based on a September online poll of ISACA members from 110 countries.
IoT refers to machines, devices, sensors, cars, cameras and other items that are connected to the Internet and often to each other. Fifty billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020, according to a study by Cisco.
While respondents from the Asia Pacific region identified significant benefits from IoT, the risks involved with greater connectivity were also recognised, with increased security threats being the biggest governance concern to 38% of IT professionals.
Data privacy was a top concern for 32%, followed by concerns around identity and access, which are most troubling to 8% of respondents (click infrographic to enlarge).
“There are numerous benefits to greater connectivity, but organisations need to be aware of the increased risks that come with the Internet of Things,” said ISACA international director Jo Stewart-Rattray.
“We’re already seeing a distinct rise in cyberattacks and threats across the board, from accounts being hacked and credit card details stolen to remote entry being manipulated.
“Both public and private organizations need to ensure their systems are adequately protected and that they are prepared to deal with the inevitable increase in malicious attacks,” she added.
When asked about the risk and rewards of IoT for enterprises, 40% of respondents in the Asia Pacific region say the benefits outweigh the risks. A further 34% believe the risks and benefits are equally balanced and one-quarter (26%) think the risks outweigh the benefits.
Half (50%) believe greater Internet connectivity is of more benefit than risk to consumers, though respondents do recognise some risk to consumers – particularly not knowing who has access to all the information being collected (40%) and not knowing how it is being used (28%).
“The Internet of Things is only set to grow over the coming years, and organisations need to develop proactive strategies to ensure they benefit from the increase in connected devices,” said ISACA international president Tony Hayes.
“However, increased connectivity also opens up a number of security risks, both externally and internally. Organisations need to determine how they will protect the data shared by their devices, while also measuring and communicating the benefits of increased connectivity,” he added.
5 steps to being agile
ISACA recommends five steps enterprises can take to be agile in the IoT era:
Act quickly; enterprises cannot afford to be reactive.
Govern the initiative to ensure that data remain secure and risks are managed.
Identify expected benefits and how to measure them.
Leverage internal technology steering committee to communicate benefits to the board.
Embrace creativity and encourage innovation.
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