Blackberry Ltd. has an answer for security concerns in the Internet of Things sector, and it could be just the catalyst the company needs.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a buzzword of yesteryear. According to data from Google Trends, searches for the term peaked in late 2016. Does this mean that this is another fad that hasn’t come into fruition? Not at all! More devices than ever are entering the market. While the hype surrounding smart devices, wireless connectivity and automation in everyday life has been dying down, many companies are still betting on an increasingly connected world, as made evident at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
According to a report by Gartner Inc., 20.4 billion IoT enabled devices are expected to be in use by next year, and most will be in the form of consumer electronics.
“Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses,” said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner.
With more and more devices around our homes becoming connected, this also opens consumers up to a greater possibility for security breaches, according to experts. Moreover, any security breaches can make or break a company’s product line.
“Because they secure sensitive, personal identifiable information, a company is a fiduciary of that information. That means they have a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard that information,” said Darren Guccione, who is the CEO password manager Keeper Security. “Failure to do so, especially for a small to medium sized business can be catastrophic.”
According to Guccione, a small to medium consumer-facing IoT company that experiences a data breach can expect to be out of business in around six months. This clearly represents a bottom-line problem for larger companies as well, as any data breaches will bring negative press, returns, and possibly litigation as well.
BlackBerry Limited is poised to profit from the current vulnerabilities of the IoT sector across virtually all devices. As most savvy investors know, the mobile device maker has long since transitioned into a company focused on cyber security, and makes most of its revenue from licensing out its intellectual property.
According to a study commissioned by the company, as many as 80 percent of American, Canadian, and British consumers don’t trust the security of their IoT enabled devices.
“2019 will be the year consumers will begin to vote with their wallets and seek out products that promise a higher level of security and data privacy,” said Alex Thurber, SVP and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. “IoT device manufacturers can address security and privacy concerns head-on and stand out in the cluttered IoT space by bringing to market ultra-secure products that consumers, retailers, and enterprises want to buy and use.”
Blackberry is currently trading at $7.52, which is on the lower end of the stock’s five-year range. Due to the company’s presence at CES 2019 and the market’s current focus on security and privacy, now may be the perfect time to get in before the Internet of Things and a wider array of licensing agreements sends Blackberry stock higher.