Internet of Things Adoption Increases Cyberattack Risk for Utilities, Navigant Research Finds

A new report from Navigant Research looks at cybersecurity threats related to the Internet of Things (IoT) that pose challenges to utilities and other enterprises, providing details on regulatory frameworks and basic strategies for secure IoT implementation.


Cybersecurity attacks threaten the grid, enterprises, and consumer devices on a nearly constant basis, putting valuable digital assets, private information, and corporate secrets at risk, while also carrying the potential for physical harm.

As IoT technologies become more popular, new threats are appearing and the need for stronger IoT security endures. According to a new report from Navigant Research, growing adoption of IoT devices and systems is increasing the number of vectors and surfaces for cybersecurity attacks against utilities and other enterprises.

“The mushrooming number of IoT devices being deployed by utilities and other enterprises carries an obvious and growing security risk,” says Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Smart managers need a comprehensive strategy to stay ahead of potentially devastating threats to IoT assets. No longer can managers rely on an old-school reactive approach; instead, they and their security teams must adopt the latest proactive and predictive tools and methodologies to keep devices and systems safe.”

According to the report, the urgency to proactively prevent threats has escalated quickly in the past few years, with corporate customers demanding robust security along value and supply chains. On the consumer side, there is a similar need to improve security for connected home devices and services.

The report, Managing IoT Cybersecurity Threats in the Energy Cloud Ecosystem, examines the IoT cybersecurity threats challenging not only utilities, but also other enterprises that have deployed or will be deploying IoT technologies.

It examines some of the regulatory frameworks shaping this market and considers the basic strategies that often go unheeded but are necessary for a successful and secure IoT implementation. This study also offers practical steps that stakeholders should take to significantly reduce the ongoing risks they face from cyberattacks. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

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Nate Fisher