IoT has taken the world of technology and modern gadgets by storm. As it continues to grow and spread, there has emerged a need for a global standard. Considering the wide-spread growth of the connected technology and the requirement of a common global practice, a new standard for the Internet of Things has been released. The new standard aims to provide a single informational framework. It is required for the wide-spread adoption of the various types of technology that are emerging.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is ISO/IEC 30141, The Reference architecture for the Internet of Things has issued the new standard. It acts as an internationally standardized reference architecture for IoT with a common vocabulary, industry practices, and reusable designs.
Swift Growth and Widespread Demand of IoT
Internet of Things has experienced rapid growth and continues to do so. Today, most applications based on existing technologies are characterized by the combination of connected devices to lower the costs and enhance business operations. Many applications employ IoT with the aim of collecting and sharing data, allowing devices to work in a synchronized manner and to boost customer engagement.
This new standard has been released at a time when the forecasts for the growth of IoT are robust. As per a review of the industry by Forbes, the global market for IoT expect to reach $457 billion by the year 2020, expanding from just $157 billion. To distribute it sector-wise, the sectors expected to lead the growth are logistics and transportation, discrete manufacturing and utilities.
Ericcson’s analysts made this forecast. They are of the opinion that the number of IoT devices in 2020 will reach up to 18 billion, steered by the desire of the companies to utilize advanced data analytics to their advantage.
Added Security Concerns
The forecasts for the IoT market are soaring. The growing number of connected devices have also given rise to many concerns regarding its security and its integration with other existing technologies. The concerns can aggravate if some devices in the network have not met the necessary manufacturing standards. Identifying the gravity of the situation, Edith Ramirez, the chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, has highlighted to the Digital Journal, three key concerns related to the Internet of Things:
- Pervasive collection of data
- The possibility of usage of consumer data for unexpected causes
- Elevated Security Risks
Cyber concerns, including security issues, are a product of the hurry to market, believes John Cook, the senior director of project management at Symantec. In his words quoted by the Digital Journal, “A lot of manufacturing behind IoT devices today feels like the Gold Rush… everyone wants to get there in a hurry. You effectively have people staking out a claim in the area without further thought to security.”
In many instances, businesses are adding several insecure devices to their networks, and later failing to have the software updated. This is a clear example of the security issues in the network. Further, several legacy devices which lack the necessary protection for safeguarding against exterior threats also connect to the IoT network. This makes them vulnerable to cyber attacks which can be devastating in many cases. A universal standard to guide and monitor the devices will surely help in addressing these security issues to some extent.
The Necessity for a New Standard
The Chairman of the International Technical Commission (IEC) and the ISO’s joint technical committee, Dr. Francois Coallier expressed his consent on the need for a standard, acknowledging the exponential growth of IoT across various sectors. He wrote on the International Standards Organization blog: “So we saw a need for a reference architecture to maximize the benefits and reduce the risks… this standard will provide the reference architecture to apply them to IoT systems.”
He further added, “There are already many published standards for resilience, safety, and security, and this standard will provide the reference architecture to apply them to IoT systems.”
The new international standard for IoT drafts to offer a common framework. Developers and designers create “trustworthy” devices, resulting in an overall reliable system. By trustworthy, the vision of the ISO is to facilitate the creation of IoT applications. They are secure, safe, reliable and respect privacy. These will also be able to cope with hindrances like attacks and natural disasters better.
Thus, the new international standard will serve as the architectural reference that will help in shaping and building the future of IoT. Emphasizing on the devices and applications that form its foundation to ensure that the system doesn’t collapse.