What happens if IoT security doesn’t get solved?

Sometimes, confirmation of the obvious can be really important. At least, that’s how I felt when I saw a new Bain & Company report, Cybersecurity Is the Key to Unlocking Demand in IoT.

According to the consulting firm’s survey, 45 percent of Internet of Things (IoT) buyers say “concerns about security remain a significant barrier and are hindering the adoption of IoT devices.” Worries over IoT security are hardly news, of course. I’ve been writing about them here on Network World for a while, and a quick internet search for IoT security rains down more than a million hits.

So, why am I paying attention to this particular report? Bain focuses on the gigantic potential market for IoT security. The report says enterprise customers would buy 70 percent more IoT devices if they had better security. And almost all respondents — 93 percent — would pay some 22 percent extra for IoT devices that have better security. Bain estimates that better IoT security could grow the IoT cybersecurity market by $9 billion to $11 billion.

The IoT security market doesn’t really matter

That’s a lot of money, but it’s not what struck me when I read the report. Instead, I started wondering about what will happen to the overall IoT market if the field’s ongoing security issues don’t get solved.