As the Internet of Thingscontinues to steer
operations in the 21st century, numerous challenges
are coming to light. While the IoT still
has the potential to transform business for owners, employees, and customers
alike, those who already embrace this next-gen network still have some work to
only are they trying to make the most of IoT integration to benefit their own the company, but they’re also treading new ground and serving as role models for
those who have yet to take the plunge.
There are many benefits to the increased adoption of IoT
technology, says Kate Began, poly case sales
and marketing manager, from the ability to monitor cargo anywhere to playing
your favorite music in the shower from a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. But
there are still many challenges to widespread IoT adoption and to a secure,
functioning global device network.
security challenges to the perils of high customer expectations, these five
factors are big concerns for the growth and development of the Internet of
Things. Overcoming them will be the key to creating true lasting productivity
and prosperity through these incredible technologies
Ask any security expert about the biggest headaches of the
21st century and they’ll likely bring up IoT devices. The reason? In
cybersecurity terms, IoT devices greatly expand the “attack surface,” or the
amount of potential areas for cybercriminals to penetrate a secure network.
Cybercriminals don’t have to crack an IoT device’splastic
enclosure to access sensitive materials. They can simply finesse their
way in through one of the many security vulnerabilities that are found
throughout the IoT. Many IoT devices have default passwords left unchanged,
unpatched software and other major security vulnerabilities.
In 2017, a casino’s data was compromised by hackers who
accessed its network through an IoT thermostat in one of its fish tanks. Far
worse, parents have reported strangers accessing their IoT baby monitors
through the internet and using them to talk to their children.
Much of the burden of fixing this problem falls upon IoT
device users. Many people still don’t see IoT devices as potential security
threats that have to be patched, updated and protected in much the same way
that smartphones and computers do.
Some of the most significant security
concerns involve both the IoT and the cloud. A recent analysis predicts a loss
of up to $120 billion in economic fallout in the takedown of just one
Another common characteristic of technological innovations
is that government regulation often takes a long time to catch up with the current state of technology. With the rapid evolution that’s happening every
day in IoT, the government is taking its time in catching up and businesses are
often left without crucial information they need to make decisions
While some businesses immediately
embraced the IoT, others are hesitant. In many cases, these businesses are
waiting for government officials to intervene with new standards and
The lack of strong IoT regulations is a big part of why the
IoT remains a severe security risk, and the problem is likely to get worse as
the potential attack surface expands to include ever more crucial devices. When
medical devices, cars and children’s toys are all connected to the Internet, it’s
not hard to imagine many potential disaster scenarios unfolding in the absence
of sufficient regulation.
Quality control in IoT can be particularly tricky from a
regulatory perspective. With huge numbers of IoT devices now being imported
from countries like China that have different standards of quality and
security, many experts are calling for strong and universal security standards
for IoT technology.
New waves of technology often feature a large stable of
competitors jockeying for market share, and IoT is certainly no exception. This
can be good news since competition creates increased choices for consumers,
but it can also create frustrating compatibility issues.
Home mesh networks are one area where compatibility trouble
is looming. Bluetooth has long been the compatibility standard for IoT devices.
In fact, it was named after an ancient king, Harald Bluetooth, known for
unifying warring tribes. But when it comes to home automation using mesh
networking, several competitors have sprung up to challenge Bluetooth’s mesh
network offerings, including protocols such as Zigbee and Z-Wave. It could be
years before the market settles enough to crown a single universal standard for
Continued compatibility for IoT devices also depends upon
users keeping their devices updated and patched, which, as we’ve just
discussed, can be pretty difficult. When IoT devices that have to talk to each
other are running different software versions, all kinds of performance issues
and security vulnerabilities can result. That’s a big part of why it’s so
important that IoT consumers keep their devices patched and up to date.
In its current form, the IoT utilizes a
centralized server-client model, to provide connectivity to the various
servers, workstations, and systems. This is quite efficient for now, since the
IoT is still in its infancy, but what happens when hundreds of billions of
devices are all using the network simultaneously? That’s because the server-client model uses a centralized server to
authenticate and direct traffic on IoT networks. However, as more and more
devices begin to connect to these networks, they often struggle to bear the
According to updated reports from
Gartner, more than 20 billion individual units will connect to the
IoT by 2020. It’s just a matter of time before users start to experience
significant bottlenecks in IoT connectivity, efficiency, and overall performance.
Thus, it’s important for IoT companies to carefully examine
their IoT connectivity providers and to choose one with a strong record of
service and innovation. Features like intelligent switching between mobile
network operators (MNOs) are particularly useful for creating a more reliable
and user-friendly IoT products for your customers.
In the 1990s, the widespread
availability of internet access forever changed the way consumers shop. It also
switched the customer’s focus from standardized, mass-produced goods to
customized products and services
It’s often said that it’s better to under-promise and
over-deliver. Many IoT manufacturers have learned this the hard way, with IoT
start-ups failing often and leaving bewildered customers in their wake. When
customer expectations and product reality don’t match, the results can be
system failures, orphaned technologies, and lost productivity.
With the year 2020 on the horizon, customers have higher
expectations than ever before. According to a recent report by Salesforce, 57
percent of consumers are more interested in doing business with an innovative
or forward-thinking company — and 50 percent won’t hesitate to switch brands if
their needs go unmet.
IoT is an exciting sector with a lot of potentials to change the way we
live, work and play. But the tech industry, government, and consumers alike must
get on the same page about issues of security and performance to ensure that
the IoT remains safe and productive to use.