The Future of IoT is both fascinating and challenging. As the number of connected devices is expected to triple by 2025, there are many significant questions and issues rising. Such as what does this mean for the Industry? What implications does this create?
To start with, security is the primary concern. Smarter devices does not imply that security is smart too. On the contrary, the larger the number of distinct, non-interoperable devices connected, the larger the risk of a security breach - especially when security sits on the user’s network alone. In the era of Industry 4.0, as IoT expands into every aspect of our lives, managing the risk presented by these edge devices is a daunting task.
But let us take a closer look at what the future of IoT will bring about, its aspiring achievements and significant challenges.
The Future of IoT is all about connected airports, seaports, train stations and roads, which will allow for seamless movement of goods and jetsetters alike. Freight will be shipped across countries and borders with more efficiency and greater visibility.
This means that high-quality infrastructure and updated systems will keep all devices, vehicles and terminals continuously connected and informed about the latest data and conditions. This also means that the amount of data transmitted and received will be monumental.
Now imagine a minor flaw in the infrastructure, a hiccup in security and you can understand the massive impact it might have on business continuity and more importantly on human life. The existence of the ‘future of IoT’ depends on data security being ongoing industry goal.
But how can you make sure that security is not breached and important data is not stolen? We believe that in the future of IoT, security-by-design is the only solution. The only way to safely guarantee the secure transmission of mission critical data, across devices, networks and systems is to implement security into every endpoint. Security by obfuscation was a good option and worked well for more isolated systems. But widely used systems (like those deployed on the billions of edge devices, obviously) are too easy for hackers to access, understand and compromise. Security for IoT must work even if a hacker can compromise a device.
Smart home devices will create an autonomous ecosystem of efficiency, sustainability and smarter solutions. Imagine a world where your Volkswagen can actually talk to your thermostat and let it know when to turn on the A/C. The vehicle itself will come with built-in, real-time data collectors, available to make decisions and choose what is best for the user.
In the future of IoT, autonomous devices will have agency - they will be able to make decisions for the user and provide the best customised experience. But if your car is making decisions for you, should the software not be well-maintained and up to date? Should you not feel completely comfortable with it making all of your decisions? Updates and maintenance of software should be automated and regular. Users can easily forget or ignore reminders to update devices. The future of IoT calls for a seamless solution that will guarantee the maintenance, updates and security of IoT devices without burdening the end user.
The integration of IoT into industrial processes opens up new levels of efficiency. This is where IoT can be most disruptive as enterprise employees with the word ‘digital’ or ‘innovation’ in their titles leverage their MBAs to prepare powerpoint presentations that will transform and propel business into the future. (I can’t help teasing the corporates sometimes.) In the coming years, even the most traditional of brands and companies will turn to IoT to upscale both their services and their profits. According to Accenture the IIoT market will reach $500 billion by 2020.
Imagine then that a tiny misconfiguration in the tech stack or the cloud could have dramatic consequence to business continuity (just as Maersk). For us at WoTT, the future of IoT is all about foreseeing these pitfalls and preventing them. One of the most successful ways to reduce mistakes in security and software is by including developers in the design process. Developers should be present from the beginning and should play a significant role in the design of the IoT deployment. Involving developers in the process will only secure the development even further and will save the industry a lot of money as the repairs after launching will be fewer and less costly.
From heart monitors to telemedicine and robotic surgery, edge devices can transform an industry that is stretched desperately thin. Remote health monitoring is a great solution delivering the best of science and technology to the remotest of places and even provide preventative care.
With this in mind, how can we make sure that our valuable Healthcare related data is not compromised? For one, (you guessed it) security should be at the core of any device. It cannot be on the network alone, it must include the device itself and have multiple layers to prevent compromise.
In the Future of IoT, privacy and security are fundamental parameters. One way to cope is to create open source solutions - a robust ecosystem of developer tools for bug fixes, remote management and security. Crowdsourcing knowledge and allowing more individuals to contribute to the security of the ecosystem and as we see it, a prerequisite to the future of IoT. Open source will pave the way to success with a common set of best practices and guidelines to foster interoperability - a key requirement for keeping up with the scale of managing connectivity at the edge.
We at WoTT envision the Future of IoT is full of neat use cases powered by trusted devices, fully-integrated and supported by a crowdsourced network of contributors where our solutions marvel at helping you make the most of IoT.