Many businesses in the Middle East are expected to increase their investment in Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the coming years as they become more digitised. However, as these solutions become more commonplace, companies will have to ensure their security procedures are able to cope.
Research by International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that investment in IoT solutions in the Middle East and Africa is set to grow from $5.8 billion this year to around $7 billion in 2016 - an increase of 20 per cent.
The company forecast that between 2013 and 2018, IoT spending in the region will grow by 22 per cent, compared with 18 per cent globally, Gulf News reports. In particular, 32 per cent of UAE enterprises and 48 per cent of Saudi organisations are planning significant investments in IoT over the next three years.
These investments are set to transform how companies conduct their operations, providing more opportunities for education and technology-based careers and enabling businesses to be more competitive on the world stage.
In particular, sectors such as infrastructure and healthcare stand to be revolutionised by the advent of a more digitised, IoT-based way of operating.
However, with the introduction of these new devices, and the large amounts of data they generate, companies will need to take a close look at their security arrangements to ensure they are not being left vulnerable to hackers.
Hani Nofal, vice-president for Intelligent Network Solutions at GBM, explained that strong security is essential to a successful digital transformation. As more organisations come to recognise this, they are increasingly seeing the value of a complete end-to-end approach that protects every part of their business.
"Cyber security solutions need to protect not just networks and devices, but also critical applications and data. Identity-based user and device authentication is critical to securing applications and data across mobile and cloud deployments," he said.