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Internet of Things devices not very secure, claims HP study

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Despite optimism surrounding the Internet of Things, a new study published by Hewlett-Packard reveals as many as 70 percent of IoT devices boast security flaws that can be tapped by hackers.

The report indicates there is much work to be done to ensure the privacy and security that users expect. The technology needs improving, HP said, adding  it has found numerous devices with back-door security issues.

The study also pointed to 10 common devices being used, highlighting smart thermostats, smart TVs and webcams. HP said each device has some 25 problems and vulnerabilities that could threaten the privacy and security of its users.

Many of the problems stem from a lack of password protection, with HP urging companies to implement stronger password regulations in their devices moving forward.

"Late last year, we were hearing a lot about Internet of Things, and a bit about IoT security, but had not seen anything that focused on the complete picture of IoT security," a statement from HP read. "So, we decided to start the OWASP [Open Web Application Security Project] Internet of Things Top 10 Project, which aims to educate on the main facets of Internet of Things security that people should be concerned with."

Despite the negatives that have initially arisen from the study, research firm Gartner has predicted there will be some 26 billion IoT objects around the planet by the end of the decade, an dramatic increase from the 9 million devices sold in 2009.

"The fact is that today many categories of connected things in 2020 don't yet exist," Gartner research director Peter Middleton said in a statement. "As product designers dream up ways to exploit the inherent connectivity that will be offered in intelligent products, we expect the variety of devices offered to explode."

Many companies are betting on the Internet of Things as the future. In May, Tech Times reported Cisco was putting forward $150 million to assist in the development of Internet of Things devices.

The company is to deliver some $150 million extra over the next few years to better fund early-stage companies with the goal of creating a new generation of companies that can tackle a number of ideas.

The aim is to accelerate development of a number of markets using the startups, including data sectors and analytics, IoT, mobility and connectivity, among others. Now, security issues are expected to be a top priority.

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