Internet Service Providers' and Individuals' Attitudes, Barriers, and Incentives to Secure IoT


Nissy Sombatruang, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology; Tristan Caulfield and Ingolf Becker, University College London; Akira Fujita, Takahiro Kasama, Koji Nakao, and Daisuke Inoue, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology


Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and individual users of Internet of Things (IoT) play a vital role in securing IoT. However, encouraging them to do so is hard. Our study investigates ISPs' and individuals' attitudes towards the security of IoT, the obstacles they face, and their incentives to keep IoT secure, drawing evidence from Japan.

Due to the complex interactions of the stakeholders, we follow an iterative methodology where we present issues and potential solutions to our stakeholders in turn. For ISPs, we survey 27 ISPs in Japan, followed by a workshop with representatives from government and 5 ISPs. Based on the findings from this, we conduct semi-structured interviews with 20 participants followed by a more quantitative survey with 328 participants. We review these results in a second workshop with representatives from government and 7 ISPs. The appreciation of challenges by each party has lead to findings that are supported by all stakeholders.

Securing IoT devices is neither users' nor ISPs' priority. Individuals are keen on more interventions both from the government as part of regulation and from ISPs in terms of filtering malicious traffic. Participants are willing to pay for enhanced monitoring and filtering. While ISPs do want to help users, there appears to be a lack of effective technology to aid them. ISPs would like to see more public recognition for their efforts, but internally they struggle with executive buy-in and effective means to communicate with their customers. The majority of barriers and incentives are external to ISPs and individuals, demonstrating the complexity of keeping IoT secure and emphasizing the need for relevant stakeholders in the IoT ecosystem to work in tandem.

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@inproceedings {285513,
author = {Nissy Sombatruang and Tristan Caulfield and Ingolf Becker and Akira Fujita and Takahiro Kasama and Koji Nakao and Daisuke Inoue},
title = {Internet Service Providers{\textquoteright} and Individuals{\textquoteright} Attitudes, Barriers, and Incentives to Secure {IoT}},
booktitle = {32nd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-37-3},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {1541--1558},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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