Colonial Pipeline is a Wakeup Call for IoT Security

In 2021, the internet of things (IoT) will have global revenue of $212 billion from installing 35 billion (IoT) new devices in the year. This could reach $3 trillion of revenue by 2026.

Each household in the developed world will have an average of 50 connected devices. This will be smartphones, speakers, 5G and home voice systems.

Healthcare, manufacturing and cities are expected to make massive multi-trillion investments in Internet of Things projects.

According to the “State Of Enterprise IoT Security In North America: Unmanaged And Unsecured” study that was commissioned* by Armis:
* 69% of enterprises have more IoT devices on their networks than computers
* 84% of security professionals believe IoT devices are more vulnerable than computers
* 67% of enterprises have experienced an IoT security incident
* Only 16% of enterprise security managers say they have adequate visibility to the IoT devices in their environments
* 93% of enterprises are planning to increase their spending on security for IoT and unmanaged devices

Gartner estimates that 2021 spending on IoT endpoint security will be about $630 million which will be up nearly 700% from 2016.

The global Internet of Things (IoT) security market size is expected to grow from $12.5 billion in 2020 to $36.6 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.9%.

Despite the security spending most IoT devices are not secure and most are not managed at all.

This makes IoT a prime target for Cybercriminals and hackers.

On May 7, 2021, Colonial Pipeline had to shutdown its pipeline operations because of a ransomware cyberattack. The $4.4 million in ransom was a trivial impact relative to the billions of dollars in economic damage to the US and world from the East Coast of the US suffering a gas and oil pipeline outage. The federal government issued an emergency declaration for 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Gas prices increased in the US. The southern states had the most impact. Almost 90% of gas stations in Washington DC had signs up indicating no gas. There were fuel lines in multiple states and 10,600 gas stations were still without gas six days after the systems were restarted on May 18.

More solar power, more battery systems, more EVs will all mean a smarter and more digitized energy system in the future. This will also mean more cyber hacking vulnerabilities.

Financial and commodity markets were globally impacted.

Colonial Pipelines is privately owned. If it were publicly traded, financial analysts agree that its share price would have crashed.

This could also have been far worse if it were not relatively amateur criminals using purchased hacking software. Truly evil and skilled hackers could bring down large amounts of world infrastructure and ruin many companies. The Colonial Pipeline outage was a wakeup call.

Will your company heed the call?