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The Internet of Things battle has just begun, Fortinet Malaysia says

AvantiKumar | July 2, 2014
Fortinet Malaysia's Michelle Ong unveils the network security firm's global survey findings.

Michele Ong

Fortinet Malaysia country manager, Michelle Ong

Data loss followed by malware and unauthorised access are the top three concerns of homeowners relating to the Internet of Things [IoT], according to network security firm Fortinet Malaysia's latest global survey.

During the release of survey findings in Kuala Lumpur, Fortinet Malaysia country manager, Michelle Ong, said, "The battle for the Internet of Things has just begun.  According to industry research firm IDC, the IoT market is expected to hit US$7.1 trillion by 2020."

"The ultimate winners of the IoT connected home will come down to those vendors who can provide a balance of security and privacy vis-à-vis price and functionality," said Ong, adding that global survey of 1,801 tech-savvy homeowners in 11 countries included 750 in the Asia Pacific countries of Malaysia, Australia, China, India, and Thailand.

She said some of the findings about IoT in the connected home included:

- The Connected Home is a reality - A majority (61 percent) of all respondents believe that the connected home (a home in which household appliances and home electronics are seamlessly connected to the Internet) is "extremely likely" to become a reality in the next five years.  China led the world in this category with more than 84 percent affirming support.

 IoT in Malaysian homes

Ong said that in Malaysia, 61 percent said that the connected home is "extremely likely" to happen in the next five years.

However, home owners are concerned about data breaches as the survey found that a majority of all respondents showed their concern that a connected appliance could result in a data breach or exposure of sensitive, personal information.  Globally, 69 percent said that they were either "extremely concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about this issue.

She said that 90 percent of Malaysian respondents said that they were "extremely concerned" or "somewhat concerned."

In addition, Ong said privacy and trust are concerns - When asked about the privacy of collected data, a majority of global respondents stated, "privacy is important to me, and I do not trust how this type of data may be used."  India led the world with this response at 63 percent, while 62 percent in Malaysia agreed with this position.

"Data privacy is an extremely sensitive issue as most (62 percent) answered 'completely violated and extremely angry to the point where I would take action.' The strongest responses came from South Africa, Malaysia and the United States," Ong said, adding that 78 percent of Malaysians agreed with this viewpoint.

 Controlling access to data

Ong said another finding was that 66 percent of users demand control over who can access collected data. In Malaysia, the figure is even higher with 72 percent wanting personal control over collected data.  Around 20 percent of Malaysians felt that either the device manufacturer or its service provider (non-ISP) should have access to the collected data.


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