The Internet of Things has been grabbing headlines since last few years and it is in the early stages of reality and the tech world is vigorously talking and rapidly innovating on this technology.
Wikipedia defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as a network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
Since data is carried over the network, privacy and security remain the critical challenges for the connected world. Researches and innovations are developing rapidly as IoT is considered as the next technology revolution.
A strong momentum is underway in the case of IoT, though the technology is at its infancy. Foreseeing the capabilities of the technology, many enterprises have already changed their mind to adopt the upcoming trend.
Recent news from Siemens Building Technologies showed that the company will utilize IBM’s IoT solutions to advance their Navigator platform for energy management and sustainability.
“By bringing asset management and analytics together with a deep technical understanding of how buildings perform, Siemens will make customers’ building operations more reliable, cost-optimized and sustainable,” said Matthias Rebellius, CEO of Siemens Building Technologies.
IBM is bringing cognitive analytics to the IoT by making four families of Watson API services available as part of a new IBM Watson IoT Analytics offering.
Diabetizer, a healthcare technology company based in Germany recently selected IBM Bluemix to build and deploy cloud-based application to improve diabetic care.
myDIABETIZER, the new diabetic care app allows patients to instantly access and aggregate their health data from multiple devices anywhere in the world, as well as apply advanced analytics to control their blood sugar at precisely accurate levels.
IoT plans by telecom operators
Telecom operator Verizon said in its “State of the Market Internet of Things 2015” report that there were more than 1.2 billion devices linked to IoT today, and there was likely to be 5.4 billion B2B connections across the globe by 2020.
The company has announced its IoT plans in October, which include the launch of a new IoT platform ThingSpace and built the 4G LTE network for the next generation of solutions.
The company has introduced three end-to-end smart cities solutions: intelligent video, intelligent lighting, and intelligent traffic management.
AT&T is already in the IoT market with its home security and automation systems under the section Digital Life.
China’s Huawei sees huge opportunities for the entire mobile telecommunications industry in the IoT era. It has set a target of supporting 1 billion connections for the cellular IoT by 2020.
To realize this IoT vision, Huawei believes it must develop and unify cross-industry standards, contain costs, and promote cooperation among different stakeholders.
IoT forecast and growth drivers
IoT has emerged as one of the trending technology and it is expected to continue next years with more innovations and user fields.
IDC forecast spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow at a 17 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to nearly $1.3 trillion in 2019 from $698.6 billion in 2015.
More than 40 percent of the worldwide IoT spending will be in Asia Pacific region in 2015. North America and Western Europe will be spending more than $250 billion in 2015, less than one third of the total IoT spending.
Leading IT market research agency Frost & Sullivan says the size of the IoT market in Asia Pacific will be $24.2 billion in 2015 and will reach $79.3 billion in 2020 with a 26.8 percent CAGR from 2015 to 2020. IoT services will be accounting for nearly three quarters of the total IoT market in 2020.
The deployment and management of IoT projects will lead to a requirement for new skill sets which are currently scarce in the APAC region.
There will be a shift towards computing decentralization as the IT industry gradually shifts towards using more IoT technology. Examples include P2P networks becoming more widely used, allowing connected devices to communicate directly with each other rather instead of being routed through a centralized data center.
Latest forecast from the agency says that the number of connected devices will reach around 22 billion by 2019, with connected cars representing 24.0 percent and wearable devices 17.1 percent. In a conservative scenario, the connected devices market will register a compound annual growth rate of 18.4 percentfrom 2013 to 2019.
IoT security issues
With IoT still in its early life, it’s difficult to say with certainty what security issues it would cause. FortiGuard Labs, the threat research division of Fortinet has warned that IoT is likely to fall prey to new malicious tactics and strategies in 2016.
FortiGuard researchers raised concerns that hackers will take advantage of vulnerabilities in connected consumer devices to get a foothold within the corporate networks and hardware to which they connect.
In a latest report, Frost & Sullivan underlined the need for impermeable privacy policies and protection from security threats and data breaches.
The research agency noted that smart objects enjoy a high degree of autonomy and therefore, IoT security and privacy solutions need to exhibit similar levels of smartness/autonomy to better detect, react and remove possible attacks.
Mary Beth Hall, Director Product Management & Development, Verizon says any device that is connected, regardless of whether it’s IoT-enabled, is a potential target for a cyber attack. “The devices themselves may not be the end target (they could be used to carry out malicious activity as part of a botnet attack), but they could be used as a gateway into the broader enterprise network and critical systems,” she added.
Can the IoT actually be secure?
Companies Gentag and Security First say yes! California-based Security First claims that its cryptographic splitting technology is the only security technology in the marketplace today which offers all the key components of data security; confidentiality, integrity and availability in one solution.
It can be embedded directly into the sensors, or overlaid with any existing Android NFC reader, such as a smartphone or tablet. The company’s government certified SPx technology provides a simple way to protect and control access to any data, whether at rest or in motion across diverse systems.
The technology randomly splits (scrambles) the data into secure shares, authenticates those data shares, and then transmits those shares as unreadable pieces so they can be stored in multiple locations.
Additionally, it is Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 level 1 and 2 certified, with multiple FIPS certifications. It is also Common Criteria EAL4+ compliant and has passed EAL4+ platform certification.
Meanwhile, Gentag holds worldwide patents in the areas of wearable and biomarker sensors that can be read with NFC- enabled devices, such as most smartphones.