TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2020 /CNW/ – Smart teddy bears, implanted heart monitors, connected cars and other connected devices are regularly connecting to corporate networks, prompting technology managers to warn that significant action should be taken to protect them from being used to hack into businesses.

That's according to a new report on practices for securing the internet of things (IoT), commissioned by Palo Alto Networks, the global cybersecurity leader, based on a survey of 1,350 IT business decision-makers in 14 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Of the 1,350 respondents, 300 were based in North America (Canada and U.S.). 

Overwhelmingly, North American respondents report a rise in the number of IoT devices connecting to their networks over the last year. Among the connected trash cans, light bulbs and hand sanitizer stations, one red flag emerged: 35% of North American respondents said they need to make a lot of improvements to the way they approach IoT security, and 17% said that a complete overhaul is needed, amounting to more than half of those polled.

Nearly 1 in 5 of those surveyed at North American organizations with at least 1,000 employees reported that they have not segmented IoT devices onto separate networks — a fundamental practice for building safe, smart networks. Only 20% reported following best practices of using microsegmentation to contain IoT devices to their own tightly controlled security zones.

"The proliferation of IoT devices poses a major challenge for Canadian organizations," said Ivan Orsanic, regional vice president and country manager, Canada at Palo Alto Networks. "IoT devices, such as connected medical devices, lack basic security settings that make them vulnerable to being exploited. As employees continue to work remotely, it's imperative that IT teams introduce IoT security measures to shore up their defences."

Palo Alto Networks released the survey as part of its ongoing effort to shed light on security threats posed by the surge in deployment of internet-connected devices. Business Insider Intelligence forecasts there will be more than 41 billion IoT devices by 2027, up from 8 billion last year.

"It is striking that Canadian organizations say they can see the problem, yet are struggling to solve it. Having visibility of IoT devices is great, but without proper network segmentation, cybercriminals could gain access into networks to do damage," added Orsanic.

To download the report, please visit: https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/resources/research/connected-enterprise-iot-security-report-2020

Survey Methodology
Palo Alto Networks commissioned technology research firm Vanson Bourne, which polled 1,350 IT business decision-makers in 14 countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks, the global cybersecurity leader, is shaping the cloud-centric future with technology that is transforming the way people and organizations operate. Our mission is to be the cybersecurity partner of choice, protecting our digital way of life. We help address the world's greatest security challenges with continuous innovation that seizes the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, analytics, automation, and orchestration. By delivering an integrated platform and empowering a growing ecosystem of partners, we are at the forefront of protecting tens of thousands of organizations across clouds, networks, and mobile devices. Our vision is a world where each day is safer and more secure than the one before. For more information, visit www.paloaltonetworks.com.

Palo Alto Networks and the Palo Alto Networks logo are trademarks of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other trademarks, trade names, or service marks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.

SOURCE Palo Alto Networks, Inc.

For further information: corpcomms@paloaltonetworks.com, http://www.paloaltonetworks.com

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