What is the Internet of Things? More widely known as IoT, it is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology, software, sensors, and connectivity which enable these objects to communicate and interact with each other. IoT plays a significant role in addressing a wide range of business and consumer applications such as home automation, autonomous vehicles, wearable electronics, smart cities, and industry 4.0.
The rapid growth of this technology has opened many opportunities for businesses to adopt innovative solutions and increase competitiveness in the market today. However, despite these benefits, companies may struggle with various barriers when trying to deploy IoT solutions. A company that is deploying IoT solutions must be aware of three potential key challenges: data security, network connectivity, and integration.
Using devices or sensors to track the physical world of the Internet of Things (IoT) opens many opportunities for businesses, but it also brings new challenges. One area that can be particularly challenging is data security. A company deploying IoT solutions must be aware of these three key challenges when it comes to data security.
Insecurely storing data collected by IoT devices can lead to a breach of privacy or an attack on the device itself. If the data is stored on the device itself, it could fall into the wrong hands during transportation, or it could be accessible to unauthorized users who are able to access the device. Data collected by devices connected wirelessly to a network could be intercepted and used by intruders. Companies working with IoT solutions need to ensure all devices are properly secured by encryption and other means so they are not vulnerable to hacks.
Connectivity is one of the challenges when deploying IoT because the solution relies on data from sensors that are dispersed over a wide area. Therefore, each sensor must be able to communicate with the other devices in its ecosystem and be able to do so without sacrificing bandwidth or increasing latency.
Connecting wireless devices in a way that guarantees high bandwidth to multiple devices simultaneously is difficult because radio frequency interference can disrupt signals. In addition, low battery life and limited power storage capabilities mean that most sensors operate intermittently. The greater distances between nodes on a large network can cause delays in transmission that compound over the course of a data stream.
Device integration is often where IoT implementations get their start, as many companies want to make sure they are able to connect devices together and have those connections managed securely and efficiently. This means ensuring that there is room for all relevant devices on the network, as well as the ramp-up of internal processes needed for device management. The sheer number of devices involved is one element that can increase costs significantly. While IoT allows more devices than ever before to be connected, it also presents a huge opportunity cost as each one requires its own integration, support, and maintenance. Without proper planning, companies may find themselves effectively managing hundreds or thousands of individual integrations—a costly proposition.
Deploying IoT solutions may seem daunting, but knowing the challenges and how to overcome them can be impactful in your business. To learn more about security, network connectivity, and compliance/regulations, download our eBook, “Placing Security at the Forefront in IoT” here.
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