KPMG: Smart-X tech holds immense potential yet security concerns persist

The landscape of interconnected smart devices, dubbed as Smart-X technologies, is promising and continuously evolving, offering vast potential for unlocking new functionalities across various industries, KPMG Professional Services said in its latest cybersecurity publication. That said, there are security concerns to be aware of.

“The future of Smart-X security holds immense potential, with an anticipated surge in demand driven by key sectors that rely on data-intensive operations and prioritize stringent security measures,” said Ton Diemont, Partner and Head of Cybersecurity and Data Privacy at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

“Industries, such as energy, automotive, government, and healthcare, are poised to lead this growth,” he added. “As the need for secure and interconnected solutions continues to escalate, Smart-X is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of these sectors, ensuring their operations remain efficient, reliable and protected.”

The number of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices worldwide is forecast to double from 2022 to 2030, reaching an estimated 29.4 billion devices, according to Statista.

However, the increasing interconnectivity of these technologies brings forth significant security concerns. A holistic approach must be taken to the entire lifecycle of Smart-X devices, starting from secure design until the decommissioning of Smart-X devices.

This includes considering the supply chain and recognizing that security is not just a support function but a business enabler for a digital transformation journey.

“Data ownership, protection of smart devices, and privacy are central challenges that must be addressed, “stated Hytham Elsohl, Director, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy, KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

“Stakeholders need to develop comprehensive cybersecurity strategies, employ industry-standard encryption mechanisms, and prioritize application security to ensure the security of Smart-X technologies.”

KPMG has established a framework that identifies critical domains at each stage of the Smart-X product life cycle, which is indispensable in evaluating cyber risks regarding Smart-X.

The Smart-X security life cycle includes: design, development and manufacturing, acquisition, implementation and operation, maintenance and support and decommissioning.

The five-step lifecycle approach provides a solid foundation for stakeholders to build and maintain secure Smart-X systems and applications.

“By integrating security considerations into every stage of the Smart-X lifecycle, stakeholders can proactively identify potential security vulnerabilities and respond at the right time to mitigate them,” Elsohl concluded.


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