According to consulting firm Gartner Internet of Things is defined as – A network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.Kevin Ashton introduced the term ‘Internet of Things’ in 1999. He described a setup in which every day inanimate objects like machines and people will be part of a network via wireless internet and will be able to communicate with each other.Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology where things or products of regular use are connected to the internet to complete their internal or external tasks.
IoT uses network of connected people and data to collect & share data and its best use. Some recent examples of IoT are as follows: ‘Smart Microwave’ – That identifies the right time and method required to cook your selected food item, ‘Self -Driving cars’ – That sense objects in their path and drive safely to avoid any crash, ‘Smart Fitness Devices’ – that detect your body movement and measure your heart rate and blood pressure levels to suggest suitable exercises.• Connectivity – Connectivity with the internet via devices or sensors• Things – Anything that can be connected to a device or sensor to be connected to the internet• Data – Information required about the product or processes• Communication – To enable data to flow for analysis• Intelligence – Results/ inference gathered from the data analysis• Action – The next step to enable the desired reaction/result• Ecosystem – The entire space or community in which IoT operatesHow does IoT work?Here is an example of IoT at work in the retail industry using Azure product from Microsoft:What is IoT security? IoT security is related to the connected things/devices and the network they operate within. Since, IoT is relatively new a lot of security aspects are not considered during the product design stage. As such, many IoT products face challenges when launched from hackers and other unfriendly sources.Security experts have since long expressed concerns over security of IoT devices, this is because users often fail to secure IoT devices using strong password or do not frequently change passwords.
As per a recent survey conducted by Techtarget in 2015, for 60% of the respondents, IoT security was a concern.What are the threats to IoT security?Threats to IoT security are as below:• More points of exposure: The growing number of connected things, platforms and end users mean more points of exposure.• IoT devices themselves become new attack vectors: Every infected IoT connected thing becomes a new possible attack point.• Increased impact of attacks: With more connected devices impact of such threats is also increased.
How to secure IoT devices?IoT security requires various layers of security check points as explained below:Advantages of IoT:Efficient analysis of data – Due to availability of real-time data, analysis is better and strategy can be devised appropriately.Improves Efficiency –Efficiency of processes is improved as real time data is available and delays, bottlenecks etc can be identified on real time basis.Reduced Costs –As real time data is available travelling to and from between various connected points is eliminated, thus saving costs.
Disadvantages of IoT:Complex system –IOT is a complex platform and hence it is difficult to understand. Any issue developed within an IoT device can lead to multiple impacts and loss of business & time.Compatibility issues –Since many devices are connected in an IoT platform, compatibility issues may arise.
Threat to personal privacy –Since real time data is available always, it poses as a threat to our personal lives.Impact of security in IoT:IoT provides real time data about the connected devices, however our current infrastructure is not conducive for a secured IoT. Lack of security in IoT can have massive impacts as explained below:.
Too much regulation –Since IoT connected devices can work beyond boundaries or countries, it can affect the regulatory policies and bring in excessive regulation.Data Security breech –As mentioned earlier, data available from connected devices are not safe or properly secured. This may lead to data security breech and can result in unexpected losses”The Impact of Trust on IoT” study found that privacy and security were the top IoT trust concerns with 62% and 54% respectively, named before other concerns such as physical safety or not being able to fix a device if it breaks down. See image given above to understand the major concerns abput impact of security in IoT.