just in the last year, the vast majority may be overconfident in their cyber-risk-management programs to protect their IoT enabled products. BDO analysts noted that a statistically significant number of manufacturers don’t start thinking about cybersecurity until their products reach the quality control or marketing stage.
“The end-user tends not to think about the security risk to their personal information until after it’s been compromised,” Shahryar Shaghaghi, cybersecurity expert at BDO, told Design News . “If the security measures feel like a burden, there are a lot of consumers who will jump ship to a less secure but more user-friendly competitor.
Cybersecurity within products is most effective when it’s designed-in at the earliest stage of design. “The challenge for manufacturers is balancing security with product innovation and ease of use. That’s why cybersecurity needs to be a consideration from the design phase onward,” said Shaghaghi. “If you tack on security controls as an afterthought, you’re not thinking about how it impacts the overall user experience.”
When asked what was most surprising about the results of the study, Shaghaghi pointed to cybersecurity. “We were surprised at the manufacturers’ level of confidence in the adequacy of their cybersecurity risk management programs,” said Shaghaghi. “Yet manufacturers are now investing in cybersecurity, particularly when it involves to supply chain partners and vendors. Nearly three-fourths of manufacturers are factoring cybersecurity into their security policies.”
Shaghaghi cautioned that the worst is yet to come with IoT cybersecurity. “Hackers are just beginning to experiment with harnessing the power of the IoT to wage attacks. And even the most sophisticated cyber-defense technology isn’t impenetrable, so early breach detection and a tested incident response plan are key,” said Shaghaghi. “A good cyber risk management program assumes hackers will, sooner or later, successfully breach the barriers and thus they focus on mitigating the impact.”
Missing Out on Tax Credits
While most manufacturers are already making major investments in IoT technologies, BDO noted that more than half are not claiming any of the available tax credits and incentives that are designed to help manufacturers finance these initiatives. “Lack of awareness seems to be the biggest issue,” said Schreiber. “Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they weren’t aware of any tax credits or incentives available for their IoT investments.”
He noted that among those who are aware of R&D credits, the biggest reason companies are not planning to claim those credits is they believe the expected benefit is too small. “Last year, among those who claimed R&D tax credits, each manufacturer’s average benefit exceeded $1 million,” said Schreiber. “No matter how you slice it, $1 million represents significant cost savings.”