Internet of Things still remains a relatively new technology for companies around the world. It is providing businesses with a lucrative opportunity to thrive and prosper in the future of “Things”. However, implementing the internet of things is easier said than done. Their deployments are complex. This means that you not only require the IT team but also need the business units and operations team to implement your IoT solutions. Some of the IoT challenges and solutions are listed below.
The expenses and costs incurred in migrating from traditional architecture to an IoT are significantly high. Companies should refrain from proceeding with this leap initially via a one-off stream. While there is nothing wrong with the overall vision to adopt IoT, it is difficult for the management to ignore costs.
To handle and mitigate these expenses, there are a number of projects with IoT implementations. They are quite cost-friendly and have defined goals, also called as ‘bite-sized’. Start your adoption slowly by utilizing pilot technologies and spend money via a series of phases. To manage additional costs, give a thought to SaaS (software as a service) to get on-premise and robust installations.
Moreover, evaluate those IoT projects which provide good value for money and go through the business cases documentation.
Sending and receiving data on the Web is always one of the riskiest activities faced by the IT team. A major reason behind this is the latest onslaught of hacking which has engulfed the modern-day world as cybercriminals are attacking governments and businesses left and right. However, in IoT, the issue is more complex; not only have you to facilitate online data communication but also connect a lot of devices— creating more endpoints for the cybercriminals to attack. While assessing the security of your IoT application, consider the following.
Data at Rest
When databases and software store data through the cloud or on-premises architecture, such data is commonly known as “at rest”. To protect this data, companies rely on perimeter-based defense solutions such as firewalls and anti-virus. However, cybercriminals are hard to deter—for them this data offers lucrative opportunities in the form of several crimes like identity theft. Cybersecurity experts recommend that this issue can be resolved with the use of encryption strategies for both the hardware and software in order to ensure that the data is saved from any illegal access.
Data in Use
When an IoT application or a gateway uses data, then its access is often available for different users and devices and thus is referred to as data in use. Security analysts claim that data in use is the toughest to safeguard. When a security solution is designed for this type of data, mainly the security considerations assess the authentication mechanisms and focus on how to secure them so only the authorized user can access them.
Data in Flight
The data which is currently being moved is primarily referred to as data in flight. To protect this data, communication protocols are planned and designed by using the latest and most effective algorithms of cryptography; they allow blocking the cybercriminals from decoding the data in flight. You can use a wide range of internet of things equipment which provides an extensive list of security protocols—many of them are enabled by default. At the minimum, you should ensure that your IoT devices which are linked with the mobile apps or remote gateways utilize HTTPS, TLS, SFTP, DNS security extensions, and similar protocols for encryption.
Often, clients have IoT equipment which is directly linked to the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition). This means that they are ultimately responsible for the production of data that can help with analytics and insights. In case there is a lack of power monitoring equipment, the SCADA network can provide the relevant system to connect the newly-added instrumentation.
Secure networks often rely on one-way outbound-only communication. SCADA can facilitate the management of the equipment’s control signals.
You can use two methods for the protection of data for the APM data transmission. First things first, you can link the APM and the SCADA’s historian. The historian is a component which is required for the storage of the instruments’ readings and control actions and it resides in a demilitarized zone where it is required for the access of applications through the Internet. These applications only have access to look into the historian’s stored data.
You should know that SCADA only permits the writes to the DB. To do this, the historian sends the SCADA an outbound signal which is based on an interval. Many EAM (enterprise asset management) systems use the SCADA’s historian data to populate dashboards.
Another handy solution is to adopt a cellular service or any other independent infrastructure. This can help you to power your data communication without any dependence on a SCADA connection. The idea for uploading data—which is cellular in nature—is a wise one in facilities that have issues with the networking infrastructure. In such a setup, users can connect a cellular gateway device with a minimum of at least five devices while a 120-V outlet powers it. Today, pre-configured cellular equipment is offered by different companies, helping businesses to easily connect and deploy their IoT solutions within a few days.
The idea to use a cellular gateway for connecting internet of things equipment is smart. However, users who are close remote areas can struggle with reception. For such cases, you need to invest an enormous amount of money to develop the required infrastructure. LTE-M and LTE-NB may use the existing cellular towers but even then you can get a broader coverage from them.
This means that even while using the 4G-LTE data, if a user is unable to work with a good signal for voice calling, then they have a formidable option in the form on the LTE-M.