Symantec Enables Startups in IoT

By Martha Vazquez

Symantec recently teamed up with venture capital firm, Frost Data Capital, to help develop and back up security startups looking to enter IoT security markets. This comes at a time when more companies such as Cisco and Intel, are incubating other small IoT startups. It is clear that while IoT is exploding, companies are gearing up to help smaller companies develop and create more disruptive technologies. Symantec, as a security company, is playing to win the race.  We are witnessing some major shifts in computing, where devices of all types are becoming connected such as drones, cars and wearables. As a result, security is not always being addressed.

The more devices become connected, the faster security companies try to play catch up. In fact, IoT security is making headlines again as we witnessed the hacking of a Jeep Cherokee. The hack raised some red flags—though, these kinds of vulnerabilities are not new—but this hacking demonstrated that a vehicle’s network could be accessed from the outside. As more security breaches occur and risks are discovered, change will need to happen, where more companies take the initiative to secure their IoT devices.

Companies need to be aware that by introducing connected cars, connected homes and many other IoT devices into their business models they are putting themselves and their customers at risk and prepare accordingly. While IoT device makers are getting all these “things” to connect, functionality is usually the prime focus and not security. Security will obviously need to be considered from all perspectives, and companies like Symantec are gearing up to enable smaller IoT security firms to help solve these issues. However, with Symantec and other large companies helping small businesses enter the IoT security space, we may encounter unforeseen problems: Is it possible that not even the big security companies have a solution to IoT security? Haven’t some of the IoT giants experienced security breaches and exposed inherent vulnerabilities with their devices and applications? If they can’t figure it out, what makes us confident in their abilities to enable other, less vetted security companies achieve what they cannot?

Either way, Symantec is not going to wait around to see what happens next; it seems for now, they will continue to watch for smaller companies to encourage them to develop the next advanced IoT security solution. We are betting that many more security companies will start looking at new ways to combat the ever- increasing security IoT landscape as more devices become connected.