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ABI Research: 23 billion IoT connections to bring new threat vectors by 2026

More connected devices mean more opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit. But ABI Research said it also presents revenue opportunities for cybersecurity solutions vendors to ensure productivity and business continuity.

ABI Research’s whitepaper, “Connected & Protected: The Vulnerabilities and Opportunities of IoT Security,” the global tech market advisory firm underscores the role of vendors in addressing the “looming security gaps” that the 23 billion devices in 2026 will bring. Currently, there are 8.6 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connections.

“Security gaps run the gamut from devices that are incapable of being secured to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and vendors often choosing to accept the risk rather than remediate it, as well as functional safety-type IoT devices that prioritize availability and cannot simultaneously ensure confidentiality,” said Michela Menting, research director, Digital Security, ABI Research. “There are limited IoT security solutions in the market, due in large part to the fragmented nature of the IoT itself.”

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From the business perspective, these vulnerabilities are revenue opportunities for IoT service providers, vendors, platform operators, and Information Technology (IT)/Operational Technology (OT) security organizations to provide new solutions and services to ensure the security of IoT devices.

IoT revenue opportunity

“ABI Research market data shows that total revenue in the space will reach $16.8 billion by 2026,” Menting said.

Technologies like 5G as well as the continued digital transformation of many companies are “fair predictors for digital security overall,” according to ABI Research.

The advisory firm noted that the amount of IoT security revenue does not always correlate with the amount of IoT connections, and some markets are expected to experience disproportional revenue.

“This is due to the multi-faceted level of security and management requirements that provide the foundation for other key operations and valuable services, including for intelligence operations and analytics, life cycle management and predictive maintenance, firmware updates, and device and data integrity,” Menting said. “ABI Research forecasts that digital security services will enter the Return on Investment (ROI) equation significantly faster in the next three years, as both security vendors and IoT players will better understand how to protect the key monetization applications related to their IoT strategies.”