The Future of IoT: A CAM Q&A with Sean Tufts

October 26, 2020
  • October is global Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
  • Each week Andrea Hart of our Solutions Education team is hosting a brief Q&A with Sean Tufts, Optiv’s Practice Director of Product Security for ICS & IOT, addressing the week’s specific topic.

  • Week 4: Sean Tufts breaks out the crystal ball and looks into the future of connected devices.


There were ~26.6 billion active IoT devices in 2019, up from 7 billion in 2018, and IDC estimates there will be 41.6 billion by 2025. That’s roughly five for every human being on the planet.


During our final chat of Cybersecurity Awareness Month we’ll look at the future of connected devices. Sean says the key thing for organizations will be building adaptive, pliable works.


Andrea: Hi all, I'm Andrea Hart from our solutions education team. It is the final week of cyber security awareness month, and it is time for our final sit down with Sean Tufts, Optiv's practice director of product security for ICS and IOT. So, so Sean let's jump in. As of last year, there were over 26 billion active IOT devices, and I do not see that slowing down. Do you agree?


Sean: Uh, I definitely agree. Yeah, I think I went to a Best Buy the other day and it was like right up front, all these little interconnected devices that you could just plop out and put in your home. Yup. It's definitely growing.


Andrea: That's crazy. So, you know, from a cybersecurity perspective, what does the future look like for IOT? What should we be keeping on our radar?


Sean: I think IOT is synonymous with data, right? I don't think anyone's really all that concerned with where we're getting some of these, uh, where we're getting this data from or where it's being generated, but making sure we have a task on and visibility towards the full life cycle. right? I don't care if data is created on a laptop, it's a Windows-based machine or on something I bought at Best Buy two weeks ago. It doesn't really matter. But knowing and seeing how that data moves, right? Making sure you're not generating on something that's secure by design-insecure by design-and being more intelligent and thoughtful about, um, how we extrapolate this out and ways of doing it safely.


Andrea: So a lot of it is just taking that step back and really thinking about what the implications are and how it might be connected.


Sean: Yeah, exactly. And those connection points are, are growing, right? It used to be unacceptable for, you know, your Google account, not to recognize you from your home to your office, but now we're going to start mixing things like bicycles in and then things like your car in and really merging your digital footprint online will be encompassing of everything, you look and touch, whether it's your personal life or your professional life. Um, and there's a lot of synergies to be had there, but there's also a lot of real big dangers coming out from a privacy perspective we can barely keep our credit card — our credit scores and our credit cards — private. Now, you know, what happens when my Huffy is now smart and enabled, right? It's a different ball game.


Andrea: Yeah, well that is definitely something to think about. And I think a great theme to wrap up cybersecurity awareness month is just put that extra effort in, really think about how it's connected and what you're putting out there. So again, on our cyber security awareness month hub, we have lots of links to resources that'll give you suggestions for staying more secure. Feel free to share with your friends, your family, your colleagues, and remember being safe and secure should be a priority not only in the month of October, but all year round. Thank you, Sean.


Sean: Thank You.