Security essential to M2M success

Michael Carroll
27 Feb 2012

Operators must work to assure consumers that machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is safe, if they are to cash in on the opportunity presented by rapid growth in the number of compatible devices, mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile states.

The firm predicts some five billion M2M devices will be in use by 2020, and reveals that consumer appetite for services is high. It claims 10% of UK consumers already use M2M regularly, and 54% expect to be able to start their car via mobile phones by 2015. However, 86% are concerned about security.

Cathal McDaid, security consultant at AdaptiveMobile, explains those fears are more than justified. “[H]aving devices connected across mobile networks creates several issues, for example machines communicating without human supervision could mean vulnerabilities and exploits go unnoticed,” he states.

The firm’s study found that 49% of consumers believe M2M may make it easier for thieves to break into their homes or cars, while 60% are worried about the risk of personal information being exposed. A third of consumers quizzed expect the device manufacturer to address those security risks, while 20% said operators should be responsible for handling protection.

“Moving forward, it is critical that dedicated, tailored, security is created for M2M and delivered at a network level to allow operators, device manufacturers, and end –users to rely on these devices without needing to worry about security,” McDaid concludes.

AdaptiveMobile plans to demonstrate the security risks by hacking a front door during the Mobile World Congress this week.

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