Word about the Internet of Things (IoT) has been emerging throughout the business press for years now, and the farther along it progresses, the greater its implications become. Looking at the reality of the IoT makes two things very clear.
We Need More Bandwidth
Anyone who’s run over a bandwidth cap with an internet service provider (ISP) knows it’s easier than you think to break that limit. Now picture our current crowded network with even more users on it, and the logjams to follow seem inevitable.
While IoT traffic itself isn’t particularly bandwidth intensive–a 2015 report put the IoT’s bandwidth use at about one percent of all current use–it is fairly expensive. IoT applications aren’t delivering the kind of return on investment that mobile networks crave, leaving some to wonder if perhaps an IoT-specific network is in order.
Total use increases every year, even for the IoT. A Gartner report suggested that in 2016 we would use a combined 30 billion things on the IoT, which was itself up 30 percent over 2015’s figures. Project that kind of growth annually through 2020 and beyond, along with our own increasing demands–Cisco says we’re entering the “Zettabyte Era“–and the need is even more clear.
We Need More Security
It’s easy to protect a room with one door, but a room with a million doors is too big a challenge for anyone. That’s what’s going on with the IoT: more points of access mean more potential points of weakness. Several security challenges face the IoT:
- Fragmented operating systems. Since IoT devices are specialized, they often run specific tools like the VxWorks or INTEGRITY operating systems. Windows-based protective tools won’t work here, which could equal a lot of potential failure points.
- Old code. Some IoT devices are running code in the vein of Modbus, a system that’s been around since the 1970s with few changes. If hackers are familiar with the source code, then it becomes easier to breach security.
- Old mindsets. Most of us are familiar with a two-pronged security system: perimeter and encryption. Firewalls, virus protection, sandboxes, and the like cover perimeter protection. Encryption protects data internally. With the IoT, there is no perimeter, and that means a new class of protection methods will be required.
Changes Mean Protection
In the end, we need to make quite a few changes to ready ourselves for IoT operations. We need more bandwidth, and we need more security. We also need different versions of both to accommodate the unique nature of IoT operations.
Innovative Business Solutions is ready to help on this front, offering greater bandwidth to address this growing need. Contact us today to learn more.