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IoT ENISA hopes that governments will adopt its work programme recommendations by 2017
ENISA hopes that governments will adopt its work programme recommendations on IoT by 2017

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has revealed plans to adopt a work programme in 2016 that will bring the “Internet of Things in focus” addressing the potential impact of security threats with the rapid growth of connected devices.

The European agency, which has an objective to improve network and information security in the European Union, said that “an estimated €640 billion is at risk as hacking and cyberattacks reach new heights and said that the rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) warranted action beyond the realms of mainstream IT.”

Pointing to the growing security threat as the volume of IoT devices continues to soar, ENISA makes reference to a Gartner report, which anticipates the volume of connected ‘things', including intelligent transport systems and smart health services, is expected to reach 25 billion by 2020.

ENISA's executive director Udo Helmbrecht said: "The management board adopted a challenging work programme for 2016, given the limited resources of the agency and the rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

"The agency is in the unique position to support the digital single market initiative by providing the solutions and knowledge for investment and deployment of electronic services in the EU internal market," added Mr Helmbrecht.

IoT security in communications

Machine-to-machine communications that are replacing humans in diagnostic chains, have been identified as potential threat to homes, workplaces and public infrastructure, should they be infiltrated by malicious activity and hackers, according to US news site Channelnomics.

It adds that security researchers have warned against security flaws in IoT devices, and adds that security weaknesses could have “life threatening consequences should they become compromised.”

The work programme will be focusing on ensuring the communications of devices are secure and will work to standardise policies and requirements related to IoT technology throughout the European Union.