Aruba released a global IoT study on Tuesday that revealed that just over half of respondents have implemented IoT, but 84% have already experienced a security breach as a result.

The study, with 3,100 respondents from key industry sectors and IT surveyed in November and December 2016, shows that mass adoption of IoT will occur by 2019, because 56% of participants have already adopted IoT, and another 32% plan to implement it within the next two years.

“One thing I think was a little surprising was almost just over half of the respondents that participated had already implemented some level of IoT solution. That was a little higher than we would have expected. Certainly there is hype in the marketplace today, but we were pleasantly surprised to see this level of adoption,” said Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing at Aruba.

Security is clearly a top concern, with 84% of those implementing IoT already having experienced a security breach. “In general when we move into emerging technologies and start to adopt new capabilities, it’s fair to say the security parameters and security education oftentimes lags behind the initial adoption. We can see that here where it’s been identified as being a challenge for those who have moved in this direction,” Kozup said.

Drilling down to the cause of the security breaches, of the 84% who have implemented IoT and had a security breach, 49% dealt with malware, 38% have been the target of spyware, 30% experienced phishing, and 26% suffered from a DDoS attack.

SEE: Here are the biggest IoT security threats facing the enterprise in 2017 (TechRepublic)

“The initial purpose of the study was to really understand the benefits, to try to put a bit of a focus on what are the actual benefits that organizations are seeing and which use cases are delivering the greatest benefits. We ask the respondents what value they expected to receive and we asked those who had deployed what value they had actually received. In pretty much all cases, the expectations actually were lower than the reality,” Kozup said.

The top five expected benefits were, in order: IT efficiency, IT effectiveness, innovation, business efficiency, and customer experience. The top five realized expected benefits were, in order: Innovation, business efficiency, IT efficiency, IT effectiveness and customer experience.

There was a clear return on investment for 32% of respondents, who reported a large profit gain from their IoT investment. Only 16% of respondents expected to experience significant ROI, so it shows that most executives have a conservative view of the benefits of investing in IoT strategies. The average ROI for companies globally is 34%, Kozup said.

According to the study, the top five IoT connected things are:

  1. Printers, scanners
  2. HVAC, lighting control
  3. Personal mobile devices
  4. Energy meters
  5. Pumps, valves, sensors

The top IoT adopters by industry are:

  1. Enterprise (smart workplace) – 72%
  2. Industrial/manufacturing – 62%
  3. Healthcare – 60%
  4. Retail – 49%
  5. Municipality (smart city) – 42%

Three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. Mass adoption of IoT is on the horizon, with 56% of companies already using IoT, and within two years, 88% of companies planning to implement it.
  2. Of those who have already adopted IoT, 84% have experienced security breaches.
  3. Large profit gains have been realized by 32% of companies using IoT.

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