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Learn your challenges, build a better IoT product
The Internet of Things (IoT), the ability of any device to connect to the Internet and each other, is no longer just a marketing buzzword. According to a 2016 study released by Gartner, more than half of major new business processes and systems will include an IoT component by 2020, Thus go-to IoT strategy must be well defined.
However, most companies that require IoT functionality may not have the ability or the resources to develop it. Thus, for example, a company that wishes to add IoT functionality to their line of air-conditioners may lack the expertise and the tools to implement the crucial IoT aspects that their systems will need to properly operate in the strict limitations that IoT devices allow (e.g. low energy, low computational capabilities).
As a result, companies must invest large sums of money in IoT specific development, or attempt to cobble together the necessary functionality from hardware and software components manufactured by different companies, in the hopes that integration will be painless which it never is.
This results in IoT projects taking longer than planned; Gartner estimates that in coming years the average IoT project will take twice as long as planned; with significant cost overruns and long-term support difficulties. Research firm IoT-Analytics estimates that companies with a clear go-to IoT strategy will save 50% on their time-to-market by using a commercial IoT platform.
Do not underestimate the need for security in your IoT Strategy
In the rush to develop or add IoT functionality, companies are neglecting to take into account all the potential security risks that come with devices that are connected to the Internet. The attitude is mostly: develop first, add security later. This is inherently wrong and costly. As the implementation and adoption of IoT devices grow, securing the Internet of Things is being neglected. Most companies implementing IoT-enabled solutions do not understand enough about cyber-security to be able to do this.
There are four main reasons for building security into an IoT network:
Malfunction – IoT makes it possible for the predefined hardware to perform a specific task automatically in the real world. If this device malfunctions due to malicious activity, the results can be:
Absurd e.g. receiving ten bottles of laundry detergent when your connected-pet device ordered a bag of cat food
Expensive e.g. high electricity bills, for example, when an A/C unit is kept running 24/7
Dangerous e.g. an industrial robot hammering an employee
Abuse – Connected devices can be used by external hackers for malicious purposes.
In 2016, for example, hackers exploited the weak security of Internet-connected devices, like DVRs and cameras, using botnets implanted on the devices, to take down sites such as Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, Airbnb and PayPal in the Mirai botnet attack.
Intrusion – Connected devices can be a gateway for hackers to reach sensitive data from internal enterprise systems.
Even in home environments, connected devices have been used to intrude on privacy, such as in the case where the new, WiFi-enabled Barbie dolls were effectively turned it into surveillance devices when they connected to a home network.
Consumer demand – in a 2017 survey by IDC, 25% of companies surveyed stated that security is the main hindering factor for deploying IoT solutions with their organization.
Which industry interest you the most?
MindoLife is a sophisticated software platform that enables secure development and rollout of robust IoT solutions for home IoT and industrial IoT (Industry 4.0) applications.