COVID-19 Has Left a Mark in the Security Space - Insights from F-Secure

by Parks Associates | Nov. 9, 2021

Parks Associates’ 25th annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference continued this afternoon with sessions Smart Home: Bridging Platforms and Changing the Experience Sponsored by Johnson Controls and Privacy and Security from 11 AM to 4:15 PM CT. Paul Palmer, VP Service Provider Business, Consumer Business Unit, F-Secure, was featured as an interactive panel member during the session Privacy and Security where he and other major executives addressed the challenges in securing the smart home, opportunities for data security solution providers, and strategies to alleviate consumer privacy concerns. Prior to the session, Paul provided insights on how COVID-19 has impacted consumers’ intentions in purchasing or upgrading security systems:

How has COVID-19 and related factors impacted intentions to purchase or upgrade security systems?

One long-lasting mark the crisis has left on us comes in the form of changed values. In times of uncertainty, people tend to be more inclined to control what they can to reduce the risks they can. This has clear Implications for security, especially when it comes to attitudes and behaviors.

In our research we can see that consumer security and privacy concerns about smart home devices have increased from 58% (2018) to 69% (2020) among respondents. Also, we see that that worries about bank account hacking and theft has increased from 58% (2019) to 69% (2020).

Increased concerns are also driving the demand for security solutions. We found that more than one-third of consumers, 34%, are willing to pay for “all-in-one” security and privacy solutions to provide the peace of mind they are seeking for.

Source: F-Secure consumer survey, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (April, May).

As smart home products gain in popularity in Europe, what value propositions that drive adoption in different European markets?

In our research, we can see that 42% of European consumers are planning to buy new connected devices within the next 12 months. Yet 80% of consumers feel device manufacturers are not doing enough to ensure their online security and privacy. And half of consumers are postponing smart home device purchases due to security and privacy concerns. Clearly there here is a need for a solution that secures all devices with one simple solution.

Consumers, in general, struggle complexity and even tech savvy consumers feel that managing security of their connected devices feels almost impossible (72% of respondents). Consumers are looking for the peace of mind of a holistic solution covering the security and privacy of their connected home, their mobile devices on the go as well as their identities online as in our research we see that 40% of consumers find all-in-one security appealing.

Communication Service Providers are in an excellent position to provide the holistic protection consumers are seeking. We found that 64% of consumers prefer their internet service provider to provide the security and privacy solutions, up from 60% before the pandemic began.

Source: F-Secure consumer survey, April 2020 (n=4000) and June 2021 (n=4000).

What new challenges have emerged in the last year in securing the smart home and what strategies are being used to alleviate consumer privacy concerns?

Consumers’ concerns around identity theft for online purchases, loans, and related crimes have increased dramatically, from 53% (2019) to 67% (2020). With the rise of threats targeting smart home device management apps or cloud services, there is a growing need to add another layer of protection into smart home security that protects consumers’ identities and accounts. Identity protection plays an essential role in protecting consumers’ financial lives. It helps them create strong and unique passwords for their smart home devices and online services, reducing the risk of becoming a victim of account takeover.

Join the virtual discussion during our final CONNECTIONS sessions of 2021 with Europe and the Smart Home and Insurance and Smart Home Sponsored by Notion on Wednesday, November 10 from 11 AM to 4:15 PM CT! Register now

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