How can the internet of things (IoT) function without the internet? At Mobile World Congress Barcelona this week, I addressed this at the Syniverse Innovation Theater with a presentation on the dangers and opportunities with the IoT, including what the IoT looks like without touching the internet. Here I want to share some of my comments from this presentation to take a closer look at what’s on the horizon for the IoT.

One of our Innovation Theater sessions in action.

With multiple customers in the audience and numerous passersby stopping to listen, I dove into the presentation, stressing how network security is paramount for the success of the IoT. Quoting, I shocked the crowd by stating how a global ransomware attack could cause $200 billion in damage.

With this incredible financial risk, companies must examine how they’ll protect themselves from such attacks. However, as I pointed out, the solution for network security has its challenges. Companies are still analyzing and understanding a number of facets about today’s complex and digitally transformative technology, such as what role devices play in this, what security protocols should be used, and when specific devices would be active.

With these concerns in mind, I continued with the importance of finding a solution, because digitally related attacks have become commonplace, with a business falling victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds. In particular, companies understand the need for security but struggle to know how to protect themselves and their customers. According to a report from RightScale, 77 percent of respondents see security as a challenge, while 29 percent see it as a significant challenge. Security threats bombard the public internet.

Me (left) with some of my Syniverse colleagues in between Innovation Theater sessions at the Syniverse booth.

So what do businesses want? I commented that businesses are looking for a private, isolated, secure-access network between network operators and IoT providers as well as support for a global collection of IoT devices operating through various kinds of connections, such as 3G, 4G, and 5G.

I next posed the question of what would happen if the connection highway were private and secure. This would also bring with it high speed with low latency, decreased risk, and greater flexibility and reliability.

Enter Syniverse Secure Global Access. This global, private IP-based network provides secure connectivity while operating independently of the public internet. With this kind of technology in place, I outlined numerous benefits for operators and companies, including enabling operators to offer their business customers a wireless connection to the cloud and giving businesses the same level of security as they have with their wired direct connection.