IOT

What is the Internet of Things and what challenges does it pose?

5th February 2019

The Internet of Things is an incredible advance in technology that will allow the user to be connected to an infinite number of devices at all times from any point. Do you know what challenges arise with it?

Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that exchange data over the Internet using sensors and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

When we say objects we mean machines, vehicles, clothes, appliances and more, with which we live daily, working thanks to a set of technologies that apart from APIs concentrate predictive analytics, Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI), automatic learning, radio frequency identification and the cloud.

-Read more: Trends in Digital Transformation

The Meaning of IoT

It works as long as there are devices with the required hardware to connect to the Internet and the minimum telecommunications infrastructure that supports it.

It is estimated that at least 26 billion units will operate with IoT by 2020, so there are already cameras, lamps, locks, thermostats, refrigerators and other appliances controlled by the network.

The essence of its architecture is to link the real world with the virtual, in addition to helping companies manage the security and connectivity of devices while collecting data from computers, linking them with backend systems, building IoT applications and shielding interoperability.

The data exploited in each intelligent device is used in real time, with predictive analytics and Big Data coming into play; automated learning also gives context to each data and produces actions without the need for human intervention.

Advantages of IoT

This technology entails new business models and, therefore, new revenue models. Traditional ways are being left behind, as IoT brings incredible opportunities for companies to offer real-time sensor data and information services.

It is efficient for automating business and manufacturing processes, as well as remotely controlling operations, conserving resources and optimizing supply chains.

The Internet of Things boosts the productivity of the workforce and generates satisfaction in various areas of work because apart from automatizing routine tasks into, it accelerates the process of decision-making and communications.

With IoT, companies can offer an enhanced experience to customers: in addition to being useful, the products and services related to it have attractive physical and digital characteristics, and they can also be customized.

-Find out: Smart Analytics, the smart way to profit from Big Data and IoT

 

In what areas is IoT applied?

The impact of IoT is evident in a wide range of businesses. For example, the way products were made changed with the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) along with Machine to Machine (M2M) communication, boosting automation. This technology is capable of preventing or foreseeing failures and even making work safety reliable.

The use of the IoT also applies for transport. Intelligent transport systems for both people and goods use IoT sensors. We are talking about trains, planes, ships and vehicles. The aim is to increase engine performance, manage the supply chain and handle logistics and security.

Car manufacturing and technology companies use the Internet of Things. How? Intelligent vehicles help drivers anticipate maintenance problems, accidents, find parking spaces, etc.

IoT Safety

As for the safety of IoT, it is based on the technology that protects both the connected equipment and the IoT itself. Things have a unique identifier that automatically passes data over the network; but if they are not protected, they run the risk of being targeted for vulnerabilities.

For this reason, measures have been introduced to ensure the safety of networks and the devices connected to them.

Although there is no single standard, the GSM Association, the Industrial Internet Consortium. IoT Security Foundation and other institutions released frameworks. In addition, the FBI warned about vulnerabilities and offered protection recommendations; Congress has also pointed out measures that manufacturers must respect, and the Senate passed the IoT Innovation and Growth Development Act.

Also, the General Data Protection Regulation covers privacy in the European Union, which extends to devices that work with IoT; in the state of California, they certified the privacy of information that covers all connected devices sold in the country, with their respective security requirements.

IoT Safety Challenges

While there are many ways to secure IoT devices, it will always be a challenge, especially since some designers and manufacturers focus on selling fast rather than ensuring safety from the start.

The things you need to pay close attention to are:

  • Passwords that are already encrypted, because even if they are changed frequently, they are not strong enough not to allow infiltration.
  • The availability of security features such as advanced encryption, because it is common that there are some resource constraints.
  • Providing upgrades or patches, however costly it may be to the manufacturer, is necessary for security.
  • Legacy assets connectivity, those that were basically not designed for connectivity.
  • Agreeing on a single framework of protection rather than specific standards, because this would make security less difficult and interoperability more reliable.
  • Promoting that customers or users apply their own methods of precaution, to avoid any breach in security.

IoT Challenges

Many companies have already joined this technology, which makes their infrastructure more complex.

In the telecommunications sector, the IoT focus is on 5G networks that support the millions of connected devices. The idea is to meet the problem of temporary delays, high speed and low power consumption.

Public institutions such as the government also use IoT to implement numerous services, such as lighting, security, traffic…

The implementation of the Internet of Things leads to a hyper-connected world over which we must have control and in which security is a permanent challenge. For this reason, it relies on programming codes that address such a problem.

Among the technological solutions that favour security, besides supporting the IoT, there is WSO2. If you want to know more about it, at Chakray we will be happy to help you.

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