The total number of IoT connections will reach 83 billion by 2024, rising from 35 billion connections in 2020, according to new predictions from Juniper Research. This represents a growth of 130 per cent over the next four years.

The research identified the industrial sector as a key driver of this growth. It forecast that this expansion will be driven by the increasing use of private networks that leverage cellular networks standards.

The new research, The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2020-2024, found that the industrial sector, including manufacturing, retail and agriculture, will account for over 70 per cent of all IoT connections by 2024. The industrial sector is expected to account for 60 billion IoT connections.

It anticipated that the emergence of cost-efficient private cellular networks would be a key driver of growth over the next four years, and expects that the recent increase in demand for private LTE networks will carry forward to private 5G networks as the cost of the technology decreases over the next two years.

The research forecast that the number of industrial IoT units in service will grow 180 per cent over the next four years.

Research co-author Sam Barker said, “Industrial networks will need to scale rapidly as industrial IoT users adopt new technologies to expand the services available on their networks. However, IoT platforms must ensure that the security processes can scale alongside this network growth.”

The research noted that the increasing complexity of private IoT networks will mean that platforms must implement steps to maximise security in all layers of the IoT ecosystem, including devices, connectivity and the platform itself.

The research urged vendors to implement security procedures that are highly scalable and can cope as network architectures become increasingly complex.

It suggested two key areas of focus; the use of network segmentation to mitigate the risks of lateral movement cybersecurity attacks and ensuring that the lifecycle management of network assets is properly maintained.

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