The evolution of the Internet has occurred in waves. The initial three waves were focused on the device. Initially, we accessed the Internet via a machine, often a desktop computer. As mobile computing progressed, we could soon take our own gadgets everywhere and at any time to access the Internet. Currently, we are immersed in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), in which devices (things) are connected to the Internet and to one another. These objects consist of a wide variety of heterogeneous devices, ranging from consumer devices like mobile phones and wearables to industrial sensors and actuators. Gartner (2017) predicted that only 8,4 billion items were linked in 2017, which is slightly over 0.5 percent of the anticipated total number of connectable physical objects in the globe.
What is the Internet of Things?
IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to the overall system of interconnected devices as well as the technology that enables communication between those devices and the cloud as well as inside those devices.
In the 1980s, university students planned to retrofit a Coca-Cola vending machine with sensors and intelligence in order to remotely monitor its inventory. However, the technology was complex and development was slow.
The phrase “Internet of Things” was invented by computer scientist Kevin Ashton in 1999. Ashton proposed using radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to track items through a supply chain while working for Procter & Gamble.
Reportedly, he used the term ‘internet’ in his presentation to attract the attention of the executives. And the phrase caught on.
As more and more connected devices were available on the market during the following decade, public interest in IoT technology grew.
IEEE is the focal point of the global technical community working on the Internet of Things (IoT), as seen by the numerous ongoing initiatives of the IEEE Internet of Things Initiative. The IEEE Internet of Things Initiative provides a venue for professionals to learn, exchange information, and collaborate on the rapid convergence of technology, markets, applications, and the Internet. Standardization enables interoperability, compatibility, dependability, and efficient worldwide operations, which are essential to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).
IEEE has a number of standards, programs, and events that are directly related to creating the right environment for the Internet of Things to thrive. This is because IEEE understands how important the Internet of Things is to business and how beneficial it is to the public. Among the most important standardization-related tasks are:
- Architectural Framework: The objective of IEEE P2413-2019 is to produce a standard for the Internet of Things’ architectural framework, which includes descriptions of various IoT domains, definitions of IoT domain abstractions, and identification of similarities across distinct IoT domains. This standard promotes cross-domain interaction, system interoperability, and functional compatibility through the architectural framework it defines.
- Harmonization and Security of IoT: IEEE 1451-99 focuses on producing a standard for the harmonization of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems. This standard specifies a mechanism for data exchange, interoperability, and security of messages via a network, allowing sensors, actuators, and other devices to interoperate independently of the underlying communication technology.
- Sensor Performance and Quality: Sensors are crucial to the IoT ecosystem, with a vast array of sensors linked into a complicated framework. The IEEE 2700 standard provides a consistent framework for sensor performance specification vocabulary, units, circumstances, and limitations. Regarding the Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, IEEE P2510 specifies quality measures, controls, parameters, and definitions for sensor data.
What does IEEE Stand for?
IEEE is the largest technical professional association in the world. Its mission is to promote innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity. It is for professionals who work in all areas of electrical, electronic, and computer science, as well as in related fields of science and technology that are important to modern society.
IEEE dates back to 1884 when electricity began to have a significant impact on society. There was one big electrical business that had been around for a long time: the telegraph. Since the 1840s, the telegraph has connected the world with a data communications system that moves faster than transportation. The telephone, electric power, and lighting sectors had just recently begun.
IEEE stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is pronounced: “Eye-triple-E.” This is the organization’s incorporated name, which is also its entire legal name.
What are the Advantages of the Internet of Things?
The Internet of things offers several advantages in the business sector’s daily existence. Some of its advantages are listed below:
- Increased staff efficiency and decreased human effort: Thanks to IoT solutions, monotonous operations may be completed automatically, allowing human resources to be reallocated to more complicated jobs requiring personal abilities, such as creative problem-solving. Thus, the number of employees is lowered, resulting in lower business operating expenses.
Effective operation control: The fact that smart devices can connect to each other also means that many areas of operation, like inventory management, shipment tracking, fuel management, and spare parts management, can be controlled automatically. Using RFID tags and a related network of sensors, for instance, to track the position of equipment and merchandise.
- Improved utilization of assets and resources: With the use of networked sensors, automated scheduling, and monitoring allow for increased resource utilization efficiency, such as enhanced power management and water usage. For instance, basic motion detectors may save considerable amounts of money on power and water bills, thus enhancing the productivity and environmental friendliness of both small and large organizations.
- Minimize the cost of operation: Due to reduced downtime times, which are assured by autonomously planned and managed maintenance, raw material supply, and other manufacturing requirements, the equipment has a higher production rate, resulting in greater profitability. IoT devices considerably facilitate administration inside specific departments and throughout the organization as a whole.
- Enhanced workplace safety: In addition to the previously indicated benefits, planned maintenance is also extremely beneficial for assuring operational safety and compliance with applicable standards. In turn, safe working conditions increase the enterprise’s appeal to investors, business partners, and employees, so enhancing the reputation and credibility of the brand.
- Comprehensive marketing and business growth: Smart home gadgets, particularly voice assistants and other equipment that interface directly with end users on a regular basis, are significant data sources for business research. IoT aids businesses by collecting vast quantities of user-specific data used for building corporate plans, targeted advertising, refining price strategy, and other marketing and management tasks.
What are the Disadvantages of the Internet of Things?
As the Internet of things enables a number of advantages, it also generates many obstacles. Some IoT difficulties are listed below:
- Deficiencies in security and privacy issues: As IoT devices improve and increase their use, it becomes increasingly difficult to protect the data they collect and communicate. Although cybersecurity is of the utmost importance, IoT devices are not usually incorporated into the plan. Devices must be guarded against physical manipulation, internet-based software assaults, network-based attacks, and hardware attacks.
When IoT devices are used in important areas like healthcare and banking, data privacy is put at risk. Information privacy regulations are being enacted on a worldwide scale, which means that not only does it make good economic sense to secure data, but it is now a legal requirement.
- Technical difficulty: Although it appears that Internet of Things (IoT) devices perform basic functions, such as counting entrance swipes at a secure door, there is a significant amount of technical technology involved in their creation. In addition, if they provide vital data to another process or system, they may negatively impact everything associated with it. Miscounting the number of swipes at the entrance is not a major issue, but if another device mistakes temperature data for entry swipe data, the consequences can be devastating. And the errors are not always simple to correct.
There might be a steep learning curve associated with implementing IoT devices. Before acquiring them, it makes sense to define a plan for how and why they will be used. Thus, you can be certain they are functioning as intended and providing assistance.
- Interdependence and connectivity: Many devices rely on the internet and constant electricity in order to work effectively. When either fails, the gadget and all it is attached to are rendered inoperable. Given how entwined IoT devices are with businesses in the present day, everything may come to a standstill if they fail.
Outages will always happen, so businesses need to know how outages will affect their devices so they can prepare for them ahead of time. Troubleshooting and incident management methods may alleviate this, as well as training personnel on what to do when devices are down.
- Difficulties in Integration: Currently, there is no consensus on IoT protocols and standards, so devices from various manufacturers are not compatible with existing technologies. Each requires unique setups and hardware connections, making deployment inefficient.
The organization must comprehend network requirements in preparation for any necessary customization. This necessitates allocating more time for device deployments to accommodate troubleshooting and related duties.
How does the Internet of Things affect Network Security?
IoT devices were not made with security in mind, which means that multi-device systems could have security flaws. In the majority of instances, security software cannot be installed on the device itself. Also, they often come with malware, which spreads to the network they are connected to. Some network security can’t find IoT devices that are connected to it or can’t see which devices are talking to each other across the network.
The enlarged attack surface of dangers that have already been troubling networks makes IoT security crucial. Insecure behaviors among users and businesses who lack the means or skills to defend their IoT ecosystems effectively exacerbate these concerns.
In addition to the threats themselves, their effects on the Internet of Things could make them much harder to deal with. The Internet of Things is capable of influencing both virtual and physical systems. Cyberattacks on IoT ecosystems may be much harder to predict because it’s so easy for them to have real-world effects. This is especially clear in the area of the industrial internet of things (IIoT), where attacks in the past have shown that they have effects that keep spreading. In the healthcare field, IoT devices are currently being used to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs, which has shown to be incredibly beneficial during the pandemic. Such attacks might disclose important patient information and possibly risk their health and safety. Exposed gadgets in the smart home might enable hackers to watch the family, compromise security equipment like as smart locks, and turn devices against their owners, as was the case when a baby monitor and a smart thermostat were hacked in separate incidents.
Is it Related to the Next Generation Firewall?
As a growing number of firms use the Internet of Things, the effective management of corporate networks is crucial to the core company’s activities. As these networks get bigger and more complicated, it is important to add endpoint devices that are secure and work well. Today, next-generation firewalls are must-have network security solutions for all sizes ranging from home networks to enterprise networks. A next-generation firewall is a wire-speed integrated network platform that provides in-depth traffic inspection and attack blocking with application awareness, content filtering, and signature-based IPS capabilities. Sunny Valley Networks and Fortinet are the best of the next-generation firewall vendors that you can try for IoT security.
Sunny Valley Networks made the Zenarmor Next Generation Firewall, which is a must-have for improving the performance, security, and availability of business WANs today. The Zenarmor NGFW is one of the most popular network security solutions in the open-source firewall world and enables you to convert your open-source firewall, like OPNsense, pfSense software, RHEL, or Ubuntu to a Next Generation Firewall in seconds. It enables you to combat modern-day cyber-attacks that are becoming more sophisticated every day. Layer-7 application/user-aware blocking, granular filtering rules, commercial-grade web filtering with cloud-delivered AI-based Threat Intelligence, parental controls, and the industry’s finest network analytics and reporting are a few of the features.
For protecting your IoT devices, Zenarmor offers a C&C/botnet prevention option. The Advanced Security features of the Zenarmor NGFW block any botnet activity that is found, whether it is by destination address or domain. AI-based Cloud Threat Intelligence from Sunny Valley Networks keeps an up-to-date list of known botnet destination addresses. All outgoing connections are compared to this list.
The Application Control feature of Zenarmor NGW may be used to restrict or monitor the protocols that an IoT device can use. Unauthorized protocols may be blocked if desired. The application definitions comprise almost hundreds of application rules organized into thirty categories.
Fortinet is the only company that can meet the different security needs of companies and service providers in the IoT ecosystem and services. Fortinet gives communications service providers (CSPs) an IoT security platform with carrier-grade performance, multitenancy, and flexible consumption models. This platform protects IoT services and revenue while letting customers realize the promise of IoT.
In the white paper “Securing the IoT Ecosystem with Fortinet,” it says that Fortinet’s next-generation firewall has an AI-based antivirus solution for protecting IoT devices:
“Fortinet has an industry-proven antivirus solution underpinned by Fireguard Labs research and artificial intelligence (AI)- based processing. In conjunction with intrusion prevention, the vast majority of malicious files will never make it to their target. Antivirus is important today mainly for the IoT infrastructure, such as the platform or web servers. But researchers think that malware that attacks the devices themselves, like the Mirai IoT malware, which is one of the most well-known examples right now, will become more common in the coming years. Fireguard Labs has almost 20 years of experience defending against malware of all types, and despite the fact that device-targeted malware is rare today, the needed research is already underway to ensure that protection of the highest quality will be ready.”