The Internet-Of-Things (IOT) is here. It may not be that big today but it will be tomorrow. And you need to know about it.

As a technology it will offer many benefits but it also has the capacity to connect, monitor and share an alarming amount of information about your lives too.

Are you happy about that?

A recent investigation by Fortinet aimed to answer that very question by soliciting the views of a cross section of the public. The survey – “Internet of Things: Connected Home” – was conducted in association with GMI, a division of Lightspeed research.

Over 1,800 tech savvy consumers aged between the ages of 20 and 50, from 11 different countries including the UK, the US, China and India were polled.

The majority (61%) said they believed that a connected home – in which household appliances and home electronics are seamlessly connected to the net – is “extremely likely” to become a reality over the next 5 years. In China this belief was even more widely held with 84% expecting such a situation to evolve in the near future.

Fifty percent of the respondents even said they would be willing to pay for such a service, either directly, or via higher broadband costs should that allow for a more seamless IOT experience and fourty percent believe that a home would be worth more if already equipped with an optimised IOT service.

The survey also highlights how security concerns play on the minds of many of those polled, despite the fact that they think the evolution of an IOT world is a foregone conclusion.

Some 70% of the survey’s participants indicated that they are “extremely concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the likelihood of data breaches or otherwise having their personal information slurped.

Two thirds also expressed concerns over issues of trust and privacy, agreeing with the phrase “Privacy is important to me, and I do not trust how this type of data may be used.” Furthermore, 62% would feel outraged if a connected home device was collecting information without their knowledge, saying that they would feel “completely violated and extremely angry to the point where I would take action.”

Many of those polled think that the IOT future needs to be regulated with 42% thinking the government should lead the way and another 11% believing that regulation should come from an independent, non-government organisation. Interestingly, the responses from US citizens signified a much lower level of demand for governmental regulation which is probably testament to the actions of a certain Mr. Edward Snowden.

IDC projects that the Internet-of-Things market will be worth a whopping $7.1 trillion within the next six years and, whilst I believe consumers will be driven almost exclusively by price first and functionality second, John Maddison, vice president of marketing at Fortinet, thinks that:

“The ultimate winners of the IoT connected home will come down to those vendors who can provide a balance of security and privacy vis-à-vis price and functionality.”

Hopefully the scales won’t balance between all three of those drivers of demand and will instead be weighted heavily by the security measures implemented by manufacturers because, as Mark Sparshott, EMEA Director at Proofpoint says:

“We’ve already started to see internet connected home devices being hacked and enrolled into botnets and believes that the IoT will be the next industrial revolution for cybercriminals bringing about technological, socioeconomic, and cultural changes which deeply concern forward thinking security professionals.”

Do you have concerns about the future of IOT and the security implications that go along with it?

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