Fortinet releases implications of the Internet of Things in the connected home

Fortinet, one of the leaders in providing high-performance network security, has released the findings of a global survey that probes home owners on key issues and their considerations in relation to the Internet of Things.

Often referred as IoT, the Internet of things is defined as a phenomenon that sees appliances, gadgets, services, and the Internet linked in order to produce relevant data. This trend, which is said to overtake BYOD, is moving towards becoming the reality a couple of years from now.

The survey, “Internet of Things: Connected Home,” was autonomously administered by GMI.  It took into account responses from  homeowners with ages ranging from 20 to 50 and was conducted in 11 countries (Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States). The results found that respondents with ample technology knowledge and experience are concerned with creating a connected yet secure home environment.

Through the findings, Fortinet aims to give a global perspective about the Internet of Things: what security and privacy issues are in play; and what homeowners are willing to do to enable it.

These were the top findings:

  • The Connected Home is a reality – In the U.S., 61 percent of the respondents said that the connected home is extremely likely to happen in the next five years.
  • Homeowners are concerned about data breaches – Globally, 69 percent said that they were either “extremely concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about data breaches or exposure of personal information accessed over a connected appliance.
  • Privacy and trust are concerns – Majority of the respondents expressed worry over their personal data being tainted.
  • Data privacy is an extremely sensitive issue – When asked how they would feel if they were being snooped on—through a connected home device, have this information collected and shared, the majority of the respondents expressed anger and would feel violated. Also, this is where they would consider taking action.
  • Users demand control over who can access collected data –66 percent of the respondents stated that only themselves or those to whom they give permission to should have access to their information.
  • Consumers look to their government for data regulation –42 percent of the respondents across 11 countries stated that their government should regulate collected data, while 11 percent said that regulation should be enforced by an independent NGO.
  • Device manufacturers are mostly on the hook for security – 48 percent of all surveyed agreed that the device manufacturer is responsible for updating/patching their device if vulnerability was discovered. Whilst, nearly 31 percent responded that the as homeowners, it is their responsibility to make sure that the device is up to date.
  • The next looming battle: secure home routers versus clean pipes –Surveyed homeowners equally expressed that routers as well as internet providers should provide protection.
  • Homeowners are willing to pay for a connected home –40 percent of the respondents would be more than willing to shell out cash for a connected home. Secondary, more than 50 percent said they would pay more for their internet service to “enable connected devices to function” in their home.
  • Price is the primary factor –As for the factors that will sway them in buying connected home devices, the number one answer consistent in all countries was price, followed by features/functionality, and then the manufacturer.

“The Internet of Things promises many benefits to end-users, but also presents grave security and data privacy challenges,” John Maddison, vice president of marketing at Fortinet said. “Crossing these hurdles will require clever application of various security technologies, including remote connection authentication, virtual private networks between end-users and their connected homes, malware and botnet protection, and application security − applied on premises, in the cloud and as an integrated solution by device manufacturers.”

In lieu of this, Fortinet has a suite of security solutions that will help address the aforementioned IoT concerns. Providing devices to keep Big data safe from evolving threats, Fortinet is one step ahead when it comes to high-network security for backend services, businesses, financial institutions, Telco’s, and the like. Among its top-of-the-line products are FortiGate, FortiGuard, FortiManager, FortiMail, FortiCare, FortiAnalyzer, FortiReporter, FortiOS, FortiASIC, FortiWiFi, FortiSwitch, FortiVoIP, FortiBIOS, FortiLog, FortiResponse, FortiCarrier, FortiScan, FortiAP, FortiDB, FortiVoice, FortiWeb, and FortiClient which is free and available for desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.