Sometimes, confirmation of the obvious can be really important. At least, that\u2019s how I felt when I saw a new Bain & Company report, Cybersecurity Is the Key to Unlocking Demand in IoT. \nAccording to the consulting firm\u2019s survey, 45 percent of Internet of Things (IoT) buyers say \u201cconcerns about security remain a significant barrier and are hindering the adoption of IoT devices.\u201d Worries over IoT security are hardly news, of course. I\u2019ve been writing about them here on Network World for a while, and a quick internet search for IoT security rains down more than a million hits.\n\nSo, why am I paying attention to this particular report? Bain focuses on the gigantic potential market for IoT security. The report says enterprise customers would buy 70 percent more IoT devices if they had better security. And almost all respondents \u2014 93 percent \u2014 would pay some 22 percent extra for IoT devices that have better security. Bain estimates that better IoT security could grow the IoT cybersecurity market by $9 billion to $11 billion.\nThe IoT security market doesn\u2019t really matter\nThat\u2019s a lot of money, but it\u2019s not what struck me when I read the report. Instead, I started wondering about what will happen to the overall IoT market if the field\u2019s ongoing security issues don\u2019t get solved.\nBain isn\u2019t blind to the prospect:\n\u201cWe expect growth in the markets that comprise the IoT to continue full steam ahead, but issues around security concerns could derail that progress,\u201d said Ann Bosche, a partner in Bain & Company\u2019s Telcom, Media and Technology Practice, in a statement.\u00a0\nYou think?\nFrankly, I don\u2019t care how much money IoT security vendors make. In fact, ideally, IoT security wouldn\u2019t even be an issue, much less a market. I mean, why should you have to spend extra time and money just to make sure your fancy new IoT implementation isn\u2019t accidentally giving bad actors the keys to your kingdom? Shouldn\u2019t that be part of the deal?\nIt doesn\u2019t help that today\u2019s IoT security approaches are all about how deal with and mitigate security risks. That stuff matters, but it\u2019s by definition inconsistent and far from foolproof. And unlike some other new technologies where the risks weren\u2019t always recognized until pretty far down the road, no one can say they weren\u2019t warned about the IoT\u2019s vulnerabilities.\nIoT security: An essential pipedream?\nI realize that total IoT security is a pipedream, but I\u2019m still worried that the IoT\u2019s intractable security problems won\u2019t actually get solved in a practical, affordable fashion. I\u2019m petrified that the understandable preference for simple, inexpensive IoT devices will continue to frustrate the folks working to secure IoT implementations. I\u2019m anxious about wide-scale hacking of IoT devices and networks that leads to catastrophic consequences.\nIn addition to the human and financial toll from such a catastrophe, it would inevitably spark a severe backlash against IoT implementations and technology. That kind of a reaction could cripple IoT\u2019s seemingly inevitable growth\u00a0and keep it from reaching its potential for years or even decades.\nWhen you think of it that way, an extra $11 billion for IoT security vendors is virtually meaningless, a rounding error compared to the stratospheric estimates of what IoT could become. (IDC says the IoT market could top $1 trillion by 2020.)\nCould, that is, if IoT can somehow solve its myriad security issues and convince buyers and users that having these devices constantly collect, share, and automatically act upon vast amounts of data isn\u2019t putting people and property at risk of being taken over by bad actors, or even disrupted by simple incompetence.\nThat\u2019s what\u2019s really at stake here. And despite hints of progress, I\u2019m far from confident that the IoT\u2019s security problems will ever get the attention they require.