My Favorite Technology – Swati Maurya

INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT): SECURITY AND CHALLENGES

Nowadays, there are a lot of clamors about the Internet of Things (IoT) in the field of technology and how it influences our life. But here a question arises what is the Internet of Things (IoT), How does it work? And what kind of challenges does it face?

WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)?

Internet of things (IoT) established a connection between physical devices via the internet  and make them capable of transferring data, perform computation on that data thus collected all information via the internet with the assistance of sensors and actuators. In the current era, the Internet of Things (IoT) grows rapidly and permits an independent yet secure connection for the interaction of real-world devices. Due to IoT most of the physical works decrease and able to make different newer applications which plays a vital role in the future and leads to benefits. Smart objects in IoT can be identified uniquely. These devices have Radio- Frequency Identification (RFID) tags or bar codes which are sensed by the sensor devices.

For example: From self-driving cars whose sensors can easily detect obstacles in their path, to smart microwaves which automatically cook our food, to wearable fitness devices, that measure the number of steps that we’ve taken or heart rate. There are even connected footballs that can track how far and fast they are thrown and record those statistics via an app for future training purposes.

HOW IoT WORK?

Although the term “Internet of Things” may be unfamiliar, you may better identify this connected ecosystem as “Connected Homes” or “Smart Homes”, which enclosed different type of IoT devices that make our things easier. But IoT devices are not working only inside the home, these devices are also found outside the home. They can range from a Wi-Fi pet camera on your bookshelf to a medical device implanted in your body, like a pacemaker. IoT devices are those that can connect to the Internet and transmits the data with the help of sensors. IoT devices integrate sensors and mini-computers that act on the data or information gathered by the sensors through machine learning. Essentially, IoT devices are mini- computers that are connected to the Internet and are vulnerable to malware and hacking.

Machine learning is a technology where computers can learn similarly to humans by accepting data from the environment. And it is what makes IoT devices smart. Machine learning comes under the category of artificial intelligence.

IoT key features and application areas:

IoT is an emerging technology having colossal applications and benefits among different domains, and also business domain. The main characteristics are the use of sensors and smart devices for data generation and capturing, automate corresponding actions and making decisions, and finally active engagement. IoT system has many benefits. The following shows some of the applications areas of IoT:

  • Industry and Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Office Environment
  • Drug and Healthcare
  • Agriculture
  • Smart City and Smart Home
  • Education
  • Energy application, and many more

Technological challenges of IoT

The following sections describe various challenges of IoT:

 

  • Security and privacy
    In the present era, Privacy and data security play a vital role as a challenge. And have  security concerns as it includes diversified multiple smart devices, sensors, and software, networks, which have become attack surface with vulnerabilities. Theses vulnerabilities are used by hackers to hack the devices and make damage or malfunctioning of the whole IoT system, related to a particular application domain area. Storage, data privacy at mobile devices, secured information, web, and cloud whether it is shared with other devices or not, becomes a serious issue. For example, in a smart home, malfunctioning, and hacking of home appliances like washing machines, thermostats, television, refrigerator, sensors, and others lead to a significant security nightmare.

 

  • Connectivity of Multiple devices with multiple networks
    IoT system uses so many types of devices and multiple networks, assures seamless connectivity, and access a device is become a major challenge as various networks use multiple network protocols and different devices use different software and have different access ports for access. Another challenge is connecting more devices and transmission of data under the IoT network. The next challenge is network type-dependent communication protocols rather than network-dependent communication protocols.

 

  • Device compatibility and durability
    In IoT, device compatibility and durability play a role as a challenge that uses N number of devices for data capture, sensing, data transfer, data analysis, and associated actions. All these devices use the exclusive operating system, firmware, network protocols, and APIs. Durability is also a challenge as the life of a device is limited to a few years. Assuring device consistency and continuity with new devices under the IoT system is a concern and harms the future growth of IoT.

CONCLUSION
IoT is a combination of smart devices, sensors, multiple networks, servers, storage and software to capture the objects of surroundings in a particular application domain, collect, process, transfer, analyze, data with intelligent algorithms by using machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence techniques to apply actions in the absence of human intervention. Hence, various technologies are used by IoT components, every component resembles an attack surface and prone to hack. It’s concluded that different attack surfaces and their vulnerability, technical problems, subsequently on different issues and problems along with protective measures. Since IoT grows rapidly in multi-folds, future research has to be carried out on data security and privacy, secure authentication, intelligent data analytics, secure networks, and actions via Machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques.

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