The Internet of Things (IoT) is a very popular concept with a lot of potential for innovation. It has the power to change our way of life and we could consider it as one of the biggest technological breakthroughs in history. However, there are a few roadblocks to the mass acceptance of IoT enabled devices.
Let us look at the biggest problems faced by IoT.
Is IoT secure?
As a system gets more complicated, the number of points of failure on that system will increase. This will make it more vulnerable to hacks. In addition to this, since IoT enabled devices need an Internet connection, it becomes easier to hack into homes by simply using brute force attack methods on vulnerable devices.
Security tests have shown that even IoT enabled pacemakers and cars can be hacked with some effort. This poses a new threat to the safety and well-being of people. Therefore, it is vital that every device complies with very strict security standards.
Does IoT protect privacy?
Health monitoring devices can obtain information about a person’s health, and existing laws ensure that corporations do not misuse such sensitive information. However, this is not the case with other IoT enabled devices.
For example, the information obtained from an oven is not sensitive by itself. However, when it is paired with information collected from other connected devices, a person’s lifestyle can be derived without ever needing to access the encrypted data. This information is dangerous in the wrong hands.
To protect privacy, companies must discard the data collected by IoT devices or maintain the anonymity of the customer.
Will IoT have connectivity issues?
Traditional methods use the client/server model to provide services to a large number of customers. Hundreds of thousands of clients can connect to a few servers to avail their services. But with IoT, nearly every household appliance and other essential tools become capable of connecting to the Internet and will require servers so that they can function.
This increase from hundreds of thousands of clients to billions of clients will easily bottleneck any centralized system. Servers that can handle such a massive volume of data will require large investments to maintain them. In addition to this, should a server become unavailable, then entire systems can go down.
To overcome this obstacle, IoT will have to use decentralized networks. A part of this can be achieved by using smart devices such as IoT hubs to take charge of real-time duties and using cloud servers to perform data gathering and analytics.
How are IoT devices powered?
The two biggest commercially viable power sources for electronic devices that are available to us are batteries and tethers. The solutions work fine as they are, but they are far from ideal in the context of the growth of IoT. Having to replace hundreds of batteries regularly or having wires present everywhere is not the best solution.
Alternate ways of powering devices exist such as through magnetic induction or electromagnetic waves. But such methods will require a lot of work before it can be safely and efficiently implemented into an IoT environment.
The Internet of Things is a concept that can embed itself into every aspect of our lives. Therefore, we all need to ask ourselves these questions before we adopt it. It has the potential to become a blessing for many people but it must not come at the price of our privacy and security.