The internet of things technology connected various devices with each other, through a single internet system, which allow them in collecting and sharing of data with each other. The IoT technology convergence two distinct devices, it assists in improving the competence, accuracy, and advantage of such equipment. Each IoT device has a unique identity which allows them to connect through a single internet infrastructure; the users can control IoT devices remotely through the internet infrastructure. The IoT technology improves the usability and efficiency of everyday tools, but there are several security threats in using IoT devices. The devices are vulnerable towards cyber-attacks, data analytics, and hacking because there is lack of proper security measures. This essay will focus on advantages of implementing IoT technology into everyday products, and it will provide various examples of products using IoT technology. Further, the essay will discuss multiple real-life case studies of companies which has to succeed and failed in IoT technology implementation and provide suggestions for improving cybersecurity.
The concept of the internet of things (IoT) was first introduced by Kevin Ashton at MIT’s AutoID lab, in the early 2000s; the idea was simple but powerful. Ashton provided that all objects used in daily life were equipped with a wireless network, these objects can communicate with each other, and the computers can control them. Ashton stated that everyday object collect data from us without our help and it could assist in the reduction of wastage, loss, and cost. The RFID and sensor technology can be used in the objects through the computer to observe and identify the world without the requirement of human-entered data. The IoT devise are connected through a single network, and they use sensors to collect the data and then share it with other devices. Currently, many obstacles are removed from the way of IoT technology, for example, IPv6 allows billions of devices to connect and communicate with networks which were not possible previously. As per the study conducted by ABI Research, more than 18 billion wireless chips will be ship by companies from 2015 to 2019. As per the research of Cisco, more than 50 billion objects will be connected through IoT technology by 2020.
Many experts believe that IoT technology has brought various benefits to the convergence and convenience, but there are several potential risks in using IoT technology, the companies can adopt multiple security measures to protect IoT devices form cyber-attacks. The convergence of technology means coming together of two distinct technologies in a single device; the devices are deeply integrated with each other, so they can send and receive data with each other. Primarily, IoT connects devices which are daily used by the peoples. There are several companies which use IoT technology to improve the working and efficiency of daily use devices. Many corporations such as Nest, Amazon, and Philips, are popular for creating smart home devices which improve the usability and efficiency of everyday objects. The Nest Learning Thermostat can be personalised because it learns the preference of users. Amazon Echo or Alexa are smart home assistance which connects to various other devices and allows the user to interact with such devices by using their voice.
The Echo can turn on the television, air conditioner, sound system, online search and many other functions; the users can perform such actions by using their voice. Phillips Hue light bulb is another popular IoT device which connects with the wife and lets the user change the colour of their lights by a mobile application. Google Home was recently launched by Google which performs various actions, such as Amazon Echo, but it also uses artificial intelligence to learn the preference of its users. There are several other case studies regarding effective implementation of IoT technology in the business procedure. The Stanley Black & Decker company is leading toolmaker which transforms their operations through implementation of IoT technology. The Stanley Black & Decker implemented Ethernet and Wi-Fi infrastructure throughout their facility with the help of Cisco. The result of using IoT technology assists in improving equipment effectiveness by 24 percent and immediate notification regarding problems benefit firm in making faster decisions. The defects of production reduced by 16 percent and overall output raised around 10 percent.
There are several reasons due to which IoT devices failed, and cybercriminals can hack such devices. There is numerous security risk of using IoT technology, such as poor cybersecurity implementation in devices, network failure, the quantity of data and many others. The IoT technology is a convergence of two worlds, i.e., physical and digital, and a new approach is required to address the issues of each world. The threat to the security of connected cars was first discovered by Charlie Millar and Chris Valasek in 2015; they found various security flaws in Jeep Cherokee which allow them to manipulate and use connected vehicles. They proved that it is easy for cybercriminals to hack a connected car and manipulate essential functions such as brakes and speed, and such changes can be applied even when criminals are sitting miles away. The IoT technology is used by a large number of enterprises, due to which there is multiple IoT architecture available in the industry. To perform efficiently, it is necessary that IoT infrastructure consolidates with each other, and having various infrastructure raises the problem of cost, complexity, and integration.
Although the IoT technology was first used by local programmers of Carnegie Melon University in the 1980s, the students connected a Coca-Cola machine to the internet which allow them to check the availability of drink and whether it is cold or not. The IoT technology is still new which means most of the IoT product manufacturing companies are start-ups vendors. The market is at the adolescent stage, and it is filled with small-scale vendors, most of these companies face risks such as bankruptcy, acquisition, and liquidation due to lack of resources. The primary foundation of every IoT technology is connectivity of devices; to ensure that IoT devices connect easily it is necessary that manufacture considered various aspects such as local area, personal area, bandwidth speed, performance and much more before making a decision. The IoT technology also faces the risk of analytics and visualisation because the data is processed in large quantity. It is also difficult to add highly secured mechanism into IoT devices because usually they smaller in size, which makes it challenging installing hardware security systems. The IoT devices use the wireless network to connect and share with other devices which makes them vulnerable towards cyber-attacks. The cybercriminals can hack the IoT devices and use them to collect sensitive and personal data of peoples and use them for gaining an unfair advantage.
The corporations are requiring integrating their data accurately and collaborating such information to find an improved method of visibility and visualisation abilities of IoT data. It improves the process of data observation by employees which ultimately transform the information into actionable data that assist in taking appropriate decisions. The missing or misunderstanding of corporate systems is a common occurrence for IoT projects, most companies failed to map the relevant networks of IoT deployment, or they were unable to fully understand the systems which are already installed by the users. As the number of IoT devices increased in the market, the requirement of bandwidth data will increase as well. The data of IoT devices are increasing rapidly, and sharing of such information require faster bandwidth. The IoT technology is growing at a slow pace because of lack of proper and high-speed internet connection. The public perception is another risk for development of IoT technology, in 2015 a research conducted by Icontrol state regarding Smart homes provided that 44 percent of Americans are “very concerned” regarding the possibility of loss of their data through IoT devices.
Around 27 percent of Americans were “somewhat concerned”, which provide that it is difficult for companies to sell IoT devices because of people’s perception regarding its security. The people perception is negative because there have been several cases of security breaches in IoT technology. For example, Target’s suffered from one of the worst security breaches due to implementing IoT technology. The cybercriminals breached and collected the data for the store through using HVAC contractor, guaranteed trusted access used in the installation of heating and cooling system. The hacker uses such data to install credit card skimming software in the sale devices of Target and collected the personal data of its users. Another case of security found in Nest Home automation devices, the attacker buys a bunch of Nest products and put their code in such devices. They repackage and sold such devices which made it significantly easier for them to control such devices from their homes. In 2013, a Forbes reporter wrote a story on home system devices made by Insteaon, which were discontinued by the company. The reporter was able to manage and change the setting of connected homes easily through information available online.
The cybercriminals use DDoS attacks to use IoT devices for collecting the data of users, the security site KrebsOnSecurity was attacked with DDoS which delivers them network traffic of 620 gigabits per second. A similar attack happened on French web host servers which receive network traffic of 1.1 terabytes per second. The IoT technology has several risks, but corporations can minimise such threats by implementing proper cybersecurity measures. Many experts have provided different cybersecurity theories that can be applied by the firms while creating IoT devices. The government should implement policies for the audit of IoT technology to ensure that companies’ use high quality of sensors and the corporations fulfill proper security measures. The audit should evaluate vendors on their viability which provide that the companies are producing secure IoT devices. The firms should also build a clear cybersecurity strategy while providing the IoT devices. It is challenging to create security measures into IoT devices, therefore, corporations should carefully plan the structure of their devices to ensure that proper guidelines are being fulfilled.
The cybersecurity strategy should also include build quality management and governance process for IoT devices; it can assist in the improvement of sensors used by companies in building IoT devices. The popularity of IoT technology causes enterprises to create multiple infrastructures for IoT devices which make it difficult for vendors to match their product with another infrastructure. The vendors should integrate and collaborate with other corporations to identify the different infrastructure and form an integration plan to avoid such differences. Encryption of information should be the primary objective of companies while manufacturing IoT devices; the IoT devices continuously share their data with other devices which make it easier for cybercriminals to hack such data while it’s in transmission. Encryption algorithm works by changing standard text into cipher text which is difficult for hacker for understand or crack the information. Encryption of data secures it while it is transmitting between multiple devices, such as air conditioners, television, and refrigerators. The theory of hash-based cryptography can able be implemented by the companies; it adds a digital signature to the data which makes it significantly difficult to hack the information. This theory also allows devices to decide whether an application should be trusted or not.
A global structure for authenticating the IoT devices should be created because it is difficult to implement security measure over multiple devices. The firewall and deep packet inspection theory is another method of protecting IoT data, these can be embedded in the IoT devices, and they use unique protocols to recognise the malicious payloads which can be hidden in the non-IT protocols. The Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) theory is another risk prevention application that can be useful for IoT devices; it assists in detection and prevention of vulnerabilities exploits. Daimler Trucks situated in North America is a good case in which company implemented firewalls and intrusion prevention software which improve the security of their IoT devices. The firm uses Software-defined networking (SDN) to connect various production processes with internet infrastructure, the automation of manufacturing process improved visibility and reduce production issues which caused due to human errors. The asset tracking software enhances the efficiency of operations and enhances the quality of their trucks.
The company secures its data by using ironclad firewalls and IPS software which prevent cybercriminals from inserting Trojan horse and another malicious virus into the system. The automation switches allow the company to create speared automation zones which maintain and protect the intellectual properties of the corporation. The “Nudge Theory” is another security measure that can be taken by companies; this theory focuses on changing the behaviour of consumers by prompting them to apply better security measures such as two-step authentications or changing their passwords regularly. There is significant potential in the IoT consumer application industry; companies such as Google, Nest, and Tesla are producing new IoT devices which improve the usability and efficiency of everyday devices, such as home security, cars, Wi-Fi network, wearable devices, home automation application and many others.
From the above observations, it can be concluded that the internet of things technology is beneficial for the convenience of individuals and companies because it improves the efficiency and usability of daily used devices. The IoT technology is used by multiple companies to improve their procedures such as manufacturing process, assets monitoring system, instant notification for problems and integration of devices. With numerous benefits, there are several issues in IoT technology as well, such as cyber-attacks, breach of security, theft of personal information and complex operations. The corporations can avoid these risks by implementing various security measures, such as firewalls, encryption, authentication, digital signature, intrusion prevention software and many others. By applying proper security guidelines, IoT devices can be significantly beneficial for the individuals and companies, and it can assist in the transformation of the procedures.
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