The Cisco Visual Networking Index reports that almost half a billion (429 million) mobile devices and connections were added in 2016. Smartphones made up the bulk of this growth, followed by M2M modules. These devices, self-driving cars, mobile-connected tablets and more comprise the mobile internet of things (IoT). It is a network that continues to expand as innovators find more ways to improve life and work processes.
Chief among the myriad challenges of mobile IoT for network operators is security. As the network of connected things has grown, so has cybercriminals’ drive to exploit it. Businesses might not think about the cybersecurity settings of their photocopiers, for instance, yet 2016’s Mirai malware used hundreds of thousands of IoT devices to create a botnet that took down popular proxy server Dyn and, with it, nearly one-third of websites globally.