Contrary to popular belief, the web of Things, or IoT, isn't new. The technology world likes to put one label on a trend in order that it can package and sell, but the industry has been connecting intelligent devices for years. It’s been a gentle evolution, not revolution. Embedded processing has been adding intelligence and improving the performance of devices around us for many years.
“In the push to attach all types of devices, we run the important risk of compromising on security and privacy which will slow the expansion of truly valuable products and services”
What is new is that the broad availability of low-cost processing and wireless communications, making it possible to attach almost anything to the web for just a few dollars. But simply because we will, doesn’t mean we should. Within the rush to attach all types of devices, we run the important risk of compromising security and privacy, which may slow the expansion of truly valuable products and services. Consumers are just realizing how this entire data gathering is often helpful, but that it can have some negative consequences also.
It all starts with security
A key challenge for the IoT is ensuring that information collected from the vast number of edge nodes isn't intercepted or altered because it makes its way through intelligent gateways and to the cloud. Suppliers are working to make sure that building blocks of a secure system are in situ and available. Encrypted non-volatile storage, secure boot, communications protocols and other building blocks help create a sequence of security. Many companies are making products which will hook up with both consumer and business networks, thus demanding a process for securing the connections and authenticating nodes which will be trusted on the network. During this time of ‘bring your own device’, keeping the network secure may be a huge challenge.
There is also the need to employ secure and intelligent IoT gateways. These ‘universal translators’ are tasked to speak with devices that use a myriad of wireless protocols. Although it appears to the typical consumer stable and reliable wireless communications are widespread, the truth is that there are an outsized number of standards that still evolve.
These IoT gateways also got to perform the primary level of knowledge analysis, bringing deciding closer to the sting nodes. Not all data is well worth the cost of sending and storing within the cloud.