SOURCE: F-Secure Corp.

F-Secure Corp.

October 08, 2015 12:28 ET

F-Secure Data Proves 70 Percent of Consumers Are Worried About Their IoT Device Being Hacked

New F-Secure Survey Finds Adoption of the Internet Of Things Is Proceeding Seamlessly, Despite Security and Privacy Worries

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2015) - New research from cybersecurity firm F-Secure finds that 23 percent of respondents purchased a Smart TV in the last twelve months compared to a nearly identical 23 percent who purchased a desktop computer. The survey of 8800 consumers indicated that while people are slowly but surely embracing the Internet of Things (IoT), overall confidence that their privacy and security needs are being met remains quite low.*

Other IoT product categories, such as wearables and internet-connected appliances, are also edging toward mainstream adoption. But 70 percent of those surveyed by F-Secure said they are at least somewhat worried about these devices being hacked, and 69 percent said they have some fear of tracking through these devices by third parties.

According to Mika Stahlberg, F-Secure's director of strategic threat research, these concerns are quite understandable considering the kinds of devices consumers are adopting. "After entertainment, IoT adoption is focusing on quality of life products. Products like security cameras, smart locks, and smart cars all play significant roles in physical security. So online threats will take on a real-world element as more people start using these devices, and people are right to be concerned about this."

Stahlberg also noted that home routers have seen an increase in attacks in the past few years, indicating that criminals see insecure devices as an exploitable business opportunity. "IoT devices will become increasingly popular targets for attacks precisely because people won't think about protecting them. We already see this with routers, which provide a good example of how IoT devices can be compromised. Hackers can use routers to monitor and manipulate Internet traffic, and groups like the Lizard Squad already use them to create marketable botnet services."

Expanding Numbers of Devices Equals Expanding Risks

Comparing this survey's results to a similar study F-Secure conducted last year indicates IoT adoption is proceeding in spite of security and privacy concerns.** More consumers are buying devices across a greater range of product categories, justifying predictions from market research firms that the market for IoT devices is growing steadily.*** Some of the growing product categories include:

  • Fitness/life tracking device adoption grew from three to five percent
  • Internet connected home monitoring device adoption grew from one to four percent
  • TV streaming device adoption grew from four to six percent

Stahlberg pointed out that many of these product categories are relatively new and filled with devices from manufacturers not traditionally associated with making IT products. As a result, traditional privacy and security issues have the potential to grow exponentially as networks expand to include these new devices.

"Manufacturers are focusing on ease of use and are rushing to get their products to market, which is leading to a situation where you have a wide range of devices with limited functionality, but quite a few security vulnerabilities. Specific security issues facing these devices are not very different from traditional IT, but expanding networks to accommodate these devices is expanding traditional security challenges to a new scale. Both people and manufacturers need to start thinking about ways to ensure these networks stay manageable if they don't want the security situation to get out of hand."

*Source: The F-Secure Consumer Values Study 2015 consisted of an online survey of 8,800 age, gender and income-representative respondents from eleven countries, 800 respondents per country: US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, and India. Data was collected by Toluna Analytics in July 2015. All comparisons with previous data restricted to countries surveyed in both studies.

**Source: The F-Secure Consumer Values Study 2014 consisted of online interviews of 4,800 age, gender and income-representative respondents from six countries, 800 respondents per country: US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil and the Philippines. The study was designed together with Informed Intuitions. Data was collected by Toluna Analytics in July 2014.

***Source: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25633215

More information:
F-Secure Internet of Things

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