IoT — INTERNET OF THINKS.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an important topic in technology industry, policy, and engineering circles and has become headline news in both the specialty press and the popular media. This technology is embodied in a wide spectrum of networked products, systems, and sensors, which take advantage of advancements in computing power, electronics miniaturization, and network interconnections to offer new capabilities not previously possible.
An abundance of conferences, reports, and news articles discuss and debate the prospective impact of the “IoT revolution” — from new market opportunities and business models to concerns about security, privacy, and technical interoperability.
What is IoT?
The concept of IoT Kevin Ashton firstly proposed the concept of IoT in 1999, and he referred the IoT as uniquely identifiable interoperable connected objects with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. However, the exact definition of IoT is still in the forming process that is subject to the perspectives taken (Hepp et al. 2007; Joshi and Kim 2013; Pretz 2013).
IoT was generally defined as “dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standards and interoperable communication protocols; physical and virtual ‘things’ in an IoT have identities and attributes and are capable of using intelligent interfaces and being integrated as an information network” (IERC 2013; Kirtsis 2011; Li et al. 2012a, b).
The IoT Security Challenge
It would be impossible to cover the broad scope of issues surrounding the Internet of Things in a single paper. However, we will now address one very important topic: the IoT security.
As users of the Internet, we need to have a high degree of trust that the Internet, its applications and the devices linked to it are secure enough to do the kinds of activities we want to do online in relation to the risk tolerance associated with those activities. The Internet of Things is no different in this respect, and security in IoT is fundamentally linked to the ability of users to trust their environment.
Poorly secured IoT devices could serve as entry points for cyberattack by allowing malicious individuals to re-program a device or cause it to malfunction. Poorly designed devices can expose user data to theft by leaving data streams inadequately protected. Failing or malfunctioning devices also can create security vulnerabilities.
Along with potential security design deficiencies, the sheer increase in the number and nature of IoT devices could increase the opportunities of attack. When coupled with the highly interconnected nature of IoT devices, every poorly secured device that is connected online potentially affects the security and resilience of the Internet globally, not just locally
Day by day, we become more connected and dependent on IoT devices for essential services, and we need the devices to be secure, while recognizing that no device can be absolutely secure. This increasing level of dependence on IoT devices and the Internet services they interact with also increases the pathways for wrongdoers to gain access to devices.
This is why security of IoT devices and services is a major discussion point and should be considered a critical issue. We increasingly depend on these devices for essential services, and their behavior may have global reach and impact.
While the concept of combining computers, sensors, and networks to monitor and control devices has been around for decades, the recent confluence of key technologies and market trends is ushering in a new reality for the “Internet of Things’’. IoT promises to usher in a revolutionary, fully interconnected “smart” world, with relationships between objects and their environment and objects and people becoming more tightly intertwined. The prospect of the Internet of Things as a ubiquitous array of devices bound to the Internet might fundamentally change how people think about what it means to be “online”.
While the potential ramifications are significant, a number of potential challenges may stand in the way of this vision — particularly in the areas of security and privacy. The Internet of Things involves a complex and evolving set of technological, social, and policy considerations across a diverse set of stakeholders. The Internet of Things is happening now, and there is a need to address its challenges and maximize its benefits while reducing its risks.