IoT must become the Internet of Secure Things

One of the many technology themes that have been impacted by the pandemic and the ongoing shortage of chips is the IOT Market which is seen as a year of cyber security catch-up as the world reopens for business. The issues that plagued IoT in the 2010s persist, even though the year ahead looks promising.

A report on the subject that was released last month said that, despite the fact that we may have spent more time online for work and play in 2020, IoT ironically became less of a “thing” the previous year. GlobalData analysts report that IoT deployments have been disrupted by Covid-19, which will be discussed in a free webinar on the subject on May 27. The connected car market in consumer IoT declined by 10% in 2020, and the automated home market experienced only 1% growth.

Smart cities, wearables, industrial machinery, and more make up the IoT market as a whole. All of this is made possible by connected Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and actuators that control and monitor environments, the things that move within them, and how people react to them.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to be even more widespread than today’s computers and mobile devices, but it is currently not. However, it has evolved into the “shiny IoT” era from the retrofitted “grimy IoT” and machine-to-machine (M2M) implementations aimed at industrial control and remote management.

According to GlobalData’s Michael Orme, an analyst, “hundreds of billions of smart-connected devices ranging from light bulbs to cars, and from biomedical wearables to smart buildings making up the ‘internet of everything’ from 2025 onwards” are necessary for the next stage of pervasive IoT to occur.

As a result, IoT will emerge as the solution and enable novel business models.

However, the Internet of Things will also require a global cyber security standard before any of this can take place. This is due to the fact that as the number of connected devices grows, so does the security gap, increasing the likelihood of cyberattacks.

The Kill Switch The Internet of Things’ many layers create a huge attack surface, whether it’s through apps, services, devices, connections, data, or both. However, none of the five layers of the Internet of Things value chain are covered by globally accepted standards. This has been observed: The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation is one example of a regulatory initiative that is slowly taking shape. In the meantime, more manufacturers are creating IoT devices with pre-built cyber applications and providing users with software updates to fix security flaws. This is important because the design of devices and the decisions engineers make when making IoT products are the foundation of cybersecurity.
However, this is insufficient. The majority of devices have weak or no security controls, and current IoT ecosystems lack adequate security regulations. Additionally, IoT cybersecurity legislation “remains a fragmented patchwork of laws that do not address concerns around IoT security as a whole,” as stated by analysts at GlobalData (GD).

Endpoint security, or the safeguarding of connected devices, is the primary focus of IoT technology. In addition, effective security will be required for intermediate gateways and routers as well as central servers, which house the majority of the most valuable data.

As the recent hack of the Colonial Pipeline demonstrates, attacks on critical national infrastructure and industrial equipment can pose a significant threat. The threat might be best described in GD’s report.

According to the authors, “if a cyberattack hits your PC, it is a nuisance,” but “if your connected car suffers a cyberattack, it could kill you.”

“On the question of universal security standards, few technologies have seen genuinely global standards beyond, say, mobile telecoms,” GD analyst David George tells Verdict of 5G’s role in IoT cyber security. In June 2020, ETSI published a standard for consumer IoT devices that it referred to as a “security baseline” and may serve as a foundation for subsequent IoT certification; Instead of treating security as an afterthought, it emphasizes incorporating it into device design.

“Outside of, say, mobile telecoms, few technologies have seen genuinely global standards on the question of universal security standards.”

Even though the ETSI standard is getting more and more use, George believes that it is not yet ready to be called a global standard. Similar initiatives include the US IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which will be signed into law in December 2020, and a tech spec guide from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology centered on consumer IoT devices.

Another technology topic that will also be affected by the events of 2020 may provide some assistance: 5G, whose global deployment was similarly affected as IoT deployments last year. 5G’s new global wireless standards may also be the obvious path to a single interconnection standard, which is something that a communications protocol for IoT will most likely require. In addition, 5G is potentially a huge enabler of pervasive IoT.

Massive Internet of Things in the 2020s, but public awareness of 5G is still low in those nations that have seen the first deployments. In addition to inconsistent signals for customers, this indicates that there is as little evidence of a widespread IoT revolution as there is of 5G becoming the global standard for interconnection anytime soon. However, according to GD analyst John Marcus, “5G-powered IoT is more relevant in the industrial space,” he tells Verdict, “there is a brighter picture when looking away from the consumer end of the 5G.” It makes more sense to examine private 5G network deployments rather than a nation’s public 5G rollout in order to get a sense of the potential.
IoT powered by 5G is more useful in the industrial sector. It makes more sense to examine private 5G network deployments rather than a nation’s public 5G rollout in order to get a sense of the potential.

Marcus gives intelligent factory examples like Ford’s E: facility for PriME in Essex, UK. He also mentions a Mercedes-Benz plant in Germany that had the world’s first 5G wireless network in a manufacturing facility when it opened in 2019.

The pandemic “actually increased demand for enterprise and healthcare use cases around people tracking, remote equipment, and site monitoring,” according to the analyst.

Naturally, these applications make IoT cyber security even more important.

In addition, Marcus believes that this moves the world one step closer to “massive IoT,” which entails the use of low-cost sensors and long-lasting batteries for smart meters, cities, buildings, and homes, as well as fleet management over a large area, as opposed to the kind of localized 5G coverage that is currently possible. Low Power Wide Area Networking (LPWAN) technology, which is frequently utilized to provide so-called narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) coverage, will be used in this kind of application. This is useful for things like smart utility meters, which don’t need to send a lot of data but do need to be connected to a lot of infrastructure in a lot of places and can run for a long time on a single battery charge.

Marcus explains, “You’ll need that coverage for the wide area, but you’ll also need roaming across the LPWAN part of the solution.” Vodafone and AT&T have collaborated to open up access to their respective NB-IoT networks to one another. This makes it easier for customers to build large-scale IoT deployments that work across the United States and parts of Europe. Deutsche Telekom has also recently increased its global roaming in this space.

Wafer woes The massive IoT slowdown we’re experiencing right now will probably be made worse by the global chip shortage, for better or worse. Last year, chip orders were canceled by automakers due to the pandemic’s weak auto demand; After that, a good deal of this supply was diverted to the expanding market for consumer electronics.

The auto industry was at the back of the wafer queue when demand for automobiles returned at the end of 2020 due to a lack of chip supply. This year’s severe weather and factory fires have exacerbated the issue, sending shockwaves through global supply chains. The Internet of Things (IoT) is also affected because chips are a crucial part of many smart devices, and more silicon is being added to many devices that didn’t need them before, like light bulbs.

According to Orme’s statement to Verdict, “The shortage may not end until 2023 and will hobble IoT-related businesses based on their status profile with the chip foundries led by TSMC.” Smart cards are also badly affected, and even Apple and Samsung are suffering in high-end smart phones. The main case involves automobiles.

“As auto creation bounce back in the mean time, we are now seeing accounts of producers eliminating specific highlights like touchscreen and high level infotainment,” George adds. ” This affects aspects of what are typically referred to as connected automobiles.

According to Orme, the IoT theme’s subsequent development is contingent on the expansion and reach of global manufacturing capacity.

He elaborates, “TSMC, Samsung, Intel, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, SMIC, and others have major projects in the works that should be completed by 2024 or 2025.” How much of it is for low-end and mid-range semiconductors, which will account for the vast majority of IoT-related demand? Probably not enough.

Even though there have been delays, Orme still doesn’t think there will be enough time for a global IoT cybersecurity standard to be in place once 5G coverage starts to spread and normalcy returns. However, fellow GlobalData analyst David Bicknell believes that the countdown is not yet complete.

“I still believe there is time for a reset.” I believe that the steamroller is still moving slowly. The business hasn’t caught up yet because there are still too many questions about Covid.

“Smart cities are now referred to as “uncertain cities,” as they continue to attempt to foresee the future. Neither the number nor the severity of cyberattacks are decreasing. It might be prudent to apply the brakes now.

Join GlobalData analysts and renowned B2B tech influencer Evan Kirstel for an in-depth discussion of the reasons why the Internet of Things will be a $1 trillion industry by 2024 and the numerous obstacles it faces. Click here to sign up for the free webinar on May 27, 2021, at 4 p.m. (BST). This is where you can find the GlobalData Internet of Things – Thematic Research report.

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