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8 April 2015

Are we really thinking about our data security?

Written by: Victoria Bentall, Associate Director at Edelman

Technology

The recent Pitch@Palace was a very British way of searching for, celebrating and rewarding the success of technology in creative industries. Unsurprisingly many of the finalists fall into the Internet of Things category.

You can barely open your eyes in our industry without hearing IOT being mentioned. We are bombarded with figures of how many internet connected things there will be by 2020: according to Gartner it is 25 billion, Morgan Stanley think as high as 75 billion. The precise number doesn’t really matter, we know it is going to be big.

But what does matter with IOT?

Security, security, security.

I should caveat my answer and confess to my bias: I live and breathe security at work. That said, it really does matter.

Businesses are starting to take it seriously. Samsung (Edelman client) CEO, BK Yoon, spoke at CES about the need to embed security into IOT hardware and software – he wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last. My concern is the consumer. I know security, I get security but it is pretty low down my list when I go shopping, so for the average consumer I imagine they barely think of it.

Perhaps that is okay when you are buying a watch, or even the often-quoted connected fridge. If you are an hour late, or you end up with 450 pints of milk, you will probably survive. But what if it is medical equipment, or the security of your house? Then it really starts to make a difference.

I suspect that there are varying levels of security built into the technology by the finalists at Pitch@Palace. The team at home security company Cocoon have probably thought about it. But I wonder if everyone has, and I would love them all to prove me wrong. The issue is that consumers do not care enough yet, and for start-ups it is extra time and cost which may get overlooked in those crazy early days of creating the next big thing.

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