Internet of Things Raises Network, Security Concerns

A survey commissioned by Infoblox finds that while enterprises are excited about the IoT, there are worries around network capacity and security.

Internet of things

Enterprises understand what the Internet of things is and the benefits it can bring to their businesses, but many also say there are significant concerns over network capacity and security.

In a survey commissioned by Infoblox, 90 percent of the 400 IT professionals interviewed said they are either planning or implementing various solutions to get their networks ready for the Internet of things (IoT), and many are optimistic that they'll have the staff and budgets to handle what's coming. However, more than half (57 percent) also said their networks already are at full capacity, while 63 percent said the IoT represents a security threat to their networks.

These are challenges that will need to be met as the IoT continues to grow and becomes a significant presence in the lives of business leaders and consumers.

"It's encouraging that the majority of IT professionals recognize the demands the Internet of things will make on their networks," Cricket Liu, chief infrastructure officer at Infoblox, said in a statement. "Network administrators have struggled in recent years to stay on top of the 'bring your own device' (BYOD) trend, and the IoT will create an increase in end points that is an order of magnitude greater."

Infoblox makes network control solutions.

The Internet of things will grow as more connected systems and devices—from smartphones and tablets to cars, manufacturing systems, home appliances and surveillance cameras—get more intelligent, generating and sharing massive amounts of data. The IoT promises organizations greater efficiencies and improved business decisions, and most respondents said they see it as a potential opportunity for their businesses.

However, network resources and security continue to be seen as hurdles. Eighty-six percent of IT professionals who responded to the Infoblox survey said they understand what their network requirements will be for the IoT, 78 percent say they have sufficient budgets and 75 percent said they have enough staff. And most said they expect their budgets and staffing to increase in the next year to better help deal with the demands of the IoT.

Forty-six percent said they expect the deployment of their IoT solutions to become part of their existing network. However, that runs into the issue of network capacity, and 54 percent of respondents said network infrastructure management also is a high priority for their organizations.

That will put greater emphasis on the need for network management and automation solutions to deal with the rise in network complexity, according to Infoblox's Liu.

The Internet of things is expected by vendors and analysts to ramp up quickly. Cisco Systems—which sees the IoT as so important that it created a business unit dedicated to the space—has predicted that there will be as many as 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Gartner analysts put that number at 26 billion, not including PCs, tablets and smartphones. IDC analysts are forecasting IoT revenues to grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion by 2020.