Defense Policy and the Internet of Things


Defense Policy and the Internet of Things

Disrupting Global Cyber Defenses

“Internet of Things” poses new cyber risks for defense policy. This report examines emerging defense policy challenges arising from the rapid global growth of devices connected to the IoT.


The fast-growing “Internet of Things” has created new threats to national economies, while defense policies have struggled to address the growing challenge. New cyber weapons, new types of economic targets, and critical gaps in defensive cyber capability and authority make private citizens and businesses increasingly vulnerable to disruptive cyber-attacks. Deloitte’s report examines defense policies and practices adopted by developed and less-developed countries to defend against “Internet of Things” attacks, surveys the Internet of Things to explain where the risks are highest, and explains why these devices are difficult for national authorities to defend.

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Key Report Highlights

  • More than 130,000 Internet-connected devices – building controls, factory systems and private communications nodes – were located in 49 countries, demonstrating the broad global vulnerability to attacks against the Internet of Things.
  • Eastern European and Baltic countries appear to face the highest risk of attacks against the Internet of Things, while China, Russia and Iran appear much less exposed.
  • National defense policies limiting military authorities to defense of government systems and critical infrastructure appear poorly-suited to respond to – or even maintain awareness of – attacks against the Internet of Things.
  • Addressing the growing risks is likely to require new national strategies, including expanded military cyber capabilities and authorities, regulation of Internet-connected devices, and “Whole of Nation” response plans.
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