From smart homes to smart cities, we're just beginning to scratch the surface of possible use cases for connected devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to collect valuable data from all facets of our lives and use it to make tasks more convenient, save money, improve health, and create a greener world. Smart grid initiatives in smart cities are expected to achieve $10.7 billion savings annually by 2019 through reduced energy consumption and emissions. Additionally, smart homes are expected to save consumers as much as 10 percent in utility expenses. And these are just a few examples of the many benefits IoT promises to deliver.
Businesses are rapidly pushing forward with IoT initiatives by connecting 5.5 million new "things" each day. Low-priced devices, processing power and Internet bandwidth combined with fast computational and network speeds make entering the IoT market an attainable goal. Yet, there are steep challenges that need to be addressed before the IoT poses more possibilities than problems. We still have a long way to go before the IoT is widely adopted and becomes an everyday part of mainstream life.
The biggest concern is the security risks involved with a world of connected things. Valuable data collected across a wide range of entry points and a growing number of human-less, autonomous devices create opportunities for criminal activity or even innocent errors. Research funded by the Defense Department recently proved how easy it is to remotely hack into a driverless car's control system. The research also highlighted that it's relatively inexpensive to increase security to avoid unauthorized system access. No matter how tempting it may be to skip this step in the rush to get a device to market, security must be built into IoT technologies.
Privacy is another significant challenge. Consumers have expressed concern over who has access to the increasingly personal identity data that IoT devices are able to collect, especially health-related wearables and home devices. In a recent Altimeter study, privacy concerns ranked as the top worry people have when it comes to connected devices.
Then there's the massive volume of customer identity data that the IoT collects. Businesses must have the technology in place to manage, secure and responsibly use all of this data without violating privacy. In addition to the technical logistics involved with managing the data, organizations must ensure they're enforcing regulatory and company policies across all devices. They also need to consider ways to capture and enforce customer preference and consent information as data is shared with partners throughout the IoT ecosystem.
Fortunately, customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions that are capable of managing identities on a large scale can address many of the barriers to IoT adoption. The right CIAM platform enables customers to set their preferences for data collection, while specifying how the data can be used and by whom. Look for a solution with fine-grain data governance capabilities to enforce security and privacy policies. These key capabilities will help mitigate the risks IoT presents and pave the way for widespread IoT success.
You can also watch our webinar replay, "Authenticating Devices and Users in the IoT" to hear all about identity aspects of the IoT, and get an overview of relevant identity standards and frameworks that will enable them.