A week after Vodafone launched its first consumer IoT services, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao has said that having connected objects is like having “doors that can be opened” to cybersecurity risks.
The CEO was speaking at a media roundtable to present the operator’s latest financial results, which showed that Vodafone’s IoT platform has a market-leading 62 million connections.
Most of these are enterprise-related devices, but the operator unveiled new services last week to connect the pets, vehicles, bags and cameras of its retail customers.
The new V by Vodafone range was launched following “extensive consumer research”.
With cyber threats cited in Vodafone’s financial report as the number one risk factor to its performance, Colao opened up on the nature of the threat the company faces.
“Cybersecurity is a real risk and one that is only going to increase,” he said.
“The more we talk about connected objects and the more I have 25 or 30 entry points into my home, it’s like having 30 doors that can be opened.”
Colao claimed Vodafone is the subject of attempted cyber attacks “every day” and that the UK-based group has invested heavily to minimise the risk of one being successful.
A new security operation centre outside London will soon be able to monitor and detect threats across all of the operator’s networks, the CEO added.
Highlighting the scale of the problem, a Nokia report published yesterday found that this year’s Wannacry ransomware, a variant of which hit Telefónica in May, managed to infect over 230,000 computers in 150 countries.
Also at the roundtable, Vodafone CFO Nick Read told journalists not to “obsess about” the revenue opportunity with the IoT.
The operator saw sales from the IoT jump over 12 percent to €367 million in the six months to 30 September.
However, Read said he looked at connected devices as a “bolt on” to a consumer’s main tariff.
Vodafone is charging a one-off fee for the connected devices it launched last week, but monthly revenues are around £3-4 per month.