The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with superior identifiers and the ability to transfer every data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. If the IoT has a problem then the enterprises that are connected to it are equally threatened. In fact, while security is undoubtedly one of the major issues impacting the development, there are a number of other problems that stem directly from this. The following are some of the issues and challenges of IoT.

Security

Security is a substantive pillar of the Internet and one that ISOC perceives to be equally essential and ‘the’ most significant challenge for the IoT. Building the number of connected devices increases the opportunity to exploit security vulnerabilities, as do poorly designed devices, which can come across the user data to theft by leaving data streams inadequately protected and in some cases, people’s health and safety can be put at risk. Many IoT deployments will also include collections of identical or near-identical devices.

To deal with these and many other challenges, a collaborative approach to security will be needed, a sentiment that APNIC’s security specialist Adli Wahid often blogs about. For many users, they will eventually need to consider the cost vs. security trade-offs associated with the mass-scale deployment of IoT devices.

Privacy

The IoT creates superior challenges to privacy, many that go beyond the data privacy problems that currently exist. This is becoming more standard in consumer devices, such as tracking devices for phones and cars as well as smart televisions. In terms of the latter, voice recognition or vision features are being included that can continuously listen to conversations or watch for activity and selectively transmit that data to a cloud service for processing, which sometimes brings a third party. The collection of this information reveals legal and regulatory challenges facing data protection and privacy law.

In addition, many IoT scenarios include device deployments and data collection activities with multinational or global scope that cross social and cultural boundaries. 

Standards

Lack of standards and documented best practices have a greater impact than just legislating the potential of IoT devices. Without standards to guide manufacturers, developers sometimes design products that operate in distracting ways on the Internet without much regard to their impact. If poorly designed and configured, such devices can have incorrect consequences for the networking resources they connect to and the broader Internet.

A lot of this comes down to cost constraints and the need to develop a product to release quicker than competitors. Add to this the toughness with managing and configuring larger numbers of IoT devices, the need for thoughtful design and standardization of configuration tools, methods, and interfaces, coupled with the adoption of IPv6, will be essential in the future.

Regulation

Like privacy, there is an enormous range of regulatory and legal questions surrounding the IoT, which need thoughtful consideration. Legal issues with IoT devices include cross border data flow; a conflict between law enforcement surveillance and civil rights; data retention and destruction policies; and legal liability for unintended uses, security breaches or privacy lapses. Further, technology is awaiting much more rapidly than the associated policy and regulatory environments.

Development

The broad scope of IoT challenges will not be the same as industrialized countries. In fact, the IoT holds significant promise for delivering social and economic benefits to emerging and developing economies. Like current challenges, less-developed regions will need to address policy requirements, market readiness, and technical skill requirements to take advantage of the IoT potential. Visit us to know more about IoT.