Around 1,150 IT industry and IT security decision-makers were surveyed worldwide for the study. Almost 50% of German respondents said that security issues play only a minor role in their company when it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) projects; the comparable worldwide figure was 43%. Only a good third of the companies called on the help of security experts for IoT projects – despite the fact that two-thirds of respondents were aware that related cyber-attacks had increased over the previous 12 months. As a result of such attacks, most respondents feared a loss of customer confidence (52%), followed closely by financial losses (49%). Trend Micro conducted the survey from April 1 to May 25, 2018 on companies with more than 500 employees in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan.
The fact that IoT systems pose significant security risks has been well-known since at least 2016, when cybercriminals developed the code for the Mirai malware and implanted it in more than 300,000 IoT devices in order to carry out DDoS attacks. Three men were sentenced to imprisonment and fined last year, while others criminals continue to use the freely available code.