Submission By: Sudarshan Krishnamurthi
IoT promises to boost corporate profits worldwide by 21 percent by 2022, according to Cisco analysts. That's because IoT can help businesses lower costs by realizing new efficiencies and drive new revenues by enabling new business models. Digital transformation in general, and IoT in particular, can help organizations become more productive and more responsive to their customers. It also can enable businesses to expand their operational models from one-time product sales to models that generate recurring revenue.
As organizations embark on this transformation journey, however, they are encountering challenges with IoT implementation. These include figuring out how to secure connected devices, networks, and the data they handle, as well as how to find the talent who will design, implement, and maintain security protocols.
The rapid and wide-scale adoption of connected sensors and IoT devices in manufacturing, finance, telco, and utility settings means that the global economy’s critical infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. October 2016’s Mirai botnet attack, for instance, used tens of millions of unsecured connected devices to deploy a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on an Internet infrastructure company.
The result? Many high-profile online services and websites were taken offline. It is estimated that $110 million in potential revenue was lost due to the attack. And the company attacked lost more than a quarter of its customers.
Compound Problem: Cybersecurity Talent Gap, IoT Talent Gap
To compound the IoT security challenge, a significant and growing skills gap exists. The shortfall of cybersecurity experts is expected to reach 1.5 million globally by 2019. There are just 500,000 developers worldwide working on IoT. So, there is and will be a need for many more developers as connected devices and applications proliferate in the years ahead. Some estimate the demand for IoT professionals will reach 4.5 million within five years.
Seasoned IT and OT professionals acquiring new skill sets relevant to address IoT will fill the majority of these roles. This means there is a tremendous need for training and certification. Many organizations are struggling to understand what skills are and will be required to allow for successful IoT implementations. The good news is that Cisco offers a reference framework for these skill sets, and the training and certification programs to arm individuals and existing team members with the tools they need to address digital transformation and IoT implementations.
To help organizations and individuals take advantage of all that IoT has to offer while keeping devices, networks, and data safe, Cisco has just released a white paper, "Securing the Internet of Things."
This white paper helps organizations prepare for IoT initiatives in these ways:
- Explaining what’s prompting the expansion of IoT
- Providing an overview of the resulting risk landscape
- Offering best practices on how to protect your organization from such risks
- Sharing how Cisco security training and certifications can help optimize your IoT security posture
If you’re an IT or OT professional who wants to prepare for what’s ahead, offer greater value to your employer, and advance your career, download your copy of "Securing the Internet of Things" here on the Cisco Learning Network. And, as always, explore the current Internet of Things certification opportunities that Cisco has to meet the demand: CCNA Industrial and Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist.
Sudarshan Krishnamurthi is head of business strategy for Cisco's education services within Cisco Services. In this role, he regularly evaluates the future of technology and its influence on skills and talent development. Sudarshan worked with industry partners Rockwell Automation and Panduit to help create the CCNA Industrial certification program. To learn more about Sudarshan, click here.