by CIO New Zealand

Benefits of connected devices outweigh risks to ANZ organisations: ISACA survey

Nov 06, 20133 mins
Technology Industry

More than half (52 percent) of New Zealand and Australian organisations have plans to capitalise on the increase of connected devices known as the “internet of things.”

Moreover, already 47 percent have already been impacted by such technology, according to IT professionals surveyed in ISACA’s 2013 IT Risk/Reward Barometer. ISACA is a global association of 110,000 IT security, assurance, governance and risk professionals.

Just over one-third (36 percent) of the IT professionals surveyed indicated their enterprises have already achieved greater accessibility to information due to the internet of things; and 31 percent have experienced improved services. A fifth of respondents said they have achieved greater efficiency, lower costs and increased customer satisfaction.

The term “internet of things” 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.

“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,” says Tony Hayes, International President of ISACA. “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.”

Organisations need to determine how they will protect the data shared by their devices, while also measuring and communicating the benefits of increased connectivity.Tony Hayes, ISACA

While respondents from Australia and New Zealand identified significant benefits from the internet of things, the risks involved with greater connectivity were also recognised, with increased security threats being the biggest governance concern to 28 percent of IT professionals.

Data privacy was highlighted by 27 percent, followed by concerns around identity and access, which are most troubling to 17 percent of respondents.

“There are numerous benefits to greater connectivity, but organisations need to be aware of the increased risks that come with the internet of things. We’re already seeing a distinct rise in cyber-attacks and threats across the board – from accounts being hacked and credit card details stolen to remote entry being manipulated,” says Jo Stewart-Rattray, international director of ISACA.

“Both public and private organisations need to ensure their systems are adequately protected and that they are prepared to deal with the inevitable increase in malicious attacks.”

Related: Prepare for the Digital Industrial Economy: Gartner

Five steps to being agile in a connected world:

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.

Source: ISACA

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