The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the tandem acceleration in malicious attacks on connected devices will drive worldwide expenditures on IoT security by 24% this year to $348 million. And that’s the good news; according to a new report that momentum is expected to accelerate significantly after 2020.

An Information Week article reported Gartner’s latest predictions on the IoT security market in a new market report released this week entitled “Forecast: IoT Security, Worldwide, 2016”.

“Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion by 2018,” said Gartner research director Ruggero Contu. “However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritization and security awareness.”

The Gartner report sees moderate IoT security spending in the next few years as the technology continues to establish itself. It predicts respectable spending growth that will increase to $547 million in 2018 and to $841 million in 2020.

However, after 2020 the report expects IoT security spending to take on much greater momentum, “as improved skills, organizational change and more scalable service options improve execution.”

The adoption of IoT technology in both consumer and industrial sectors will also be a major growth accelerant in connected devices.  And as the proliferation of connected devices accelerates, IoT vendors will be forced to prioritize a radically evolving set of security challenges.

Gartner sees IoT the root of 25% of attacks by 2020

Gartner’s report anticipates that over 25% of identified security attacks on enterprises will be IoT-related by 2020. Yet with less than 10% of IT security budgets expected to be allocated to IoT by then, a dangerous security mismatch is looming.

In light of budget restrictions, vendors will struggle to create immediate security fixes and so will likely focus excessively on exploits and vulnerabilities. But Gartner predicts that the industry’s preoccupation with putting out IoT security fires will distract them from finding long-term security solutions.

In order to properly secure IoT, enterprises will “focus more and more on the management, analytics and provisioning of devices and their data,” said Contu. “IoT business scenarios will require a delivery mechanism that can also grow and keep pace with requirements in monitoring, detection, access control and other security needs.”

He adds that cloud-based security services are vital to the ensuring that IoT technology reach its full potential in strength and scale. Gartner predicts that by 2020 half of all IoT implementations will employ some type of cloud-based security to satisfy regulatory and reliability demands.