by Anthony Feijoo, ODINS
The heightened expectations surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm have led to a significant surge in the number of IoT devices. This trend can be attributed to the anticipation that IoT will eventually become a crucial component of essential human infrastructure, encompassing areas like Intelligent Transportation Systems, Smart Agriculture, and Industry 4.0. Given this projection, it is imperative that we prioritize the security of these assets.
Any vulnerabilities introduced in today’s planning could potentially expose the global production capacity to severe setbacks in the future. The IoT has demonstrated its potential to provide enhanced solutions for the digitalization of basic human infrastructure (Smart Scenarios). This made possible to monitor and manage city infrastructures and agriculture fields through autonomous wireless sensor networks, the integration of legacy equipment without communication capabilities into the network through IoT-based gateways, the performance of remote control actions on actuators and enhanced the data availability for Decision Support Systems (DSS) and complicated event detection systems thanks to the increasing smartness level.
However, a close examination of the present landscape reveals that the IoT paradigm may not have reached a level of maturity that aligns with the impending responsibilities it is expected to bear. The solutions designed for the aforementioned sectors are subjected to unfavorable conditions, creating a difficult research field where no consensus of the optimal solution exists. Consequently, the leading technologies currently employed do not fulfill the anticipated criteria necessary for them to become IoT’s future-driving foundations. This issue demands immediate attention rather than being pushed into the background.
To future-proof forthcoming paradigms where IoT is combined with existing sectors to enhance them, numerous challenges must be confronted head-on with the aid of state-of-the-art IoT solutions.
Compatibility of different vendors’ heterogeneous IoT systems and devices.
The usage of several protocols and mechanisms by existing devices, processing units, and DSS platforms, makes interactions among them extremely challenging. This is why open, standardized protocols are essential for enabling interoperability between components and deployments using technologies from various vendors.
New networked and interoperable ecosystems are replacing isolated solutions with vendor dependence by using the novel work of IETF work groups LPWAN/IPv6 over Networks of Resource-constrained Nodes (6Lo) whom have mainly focused its effort on designing an standardized environment (from the physical to the application layer of an architecture) that facilitates the integration of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) as it is the current standard of the mainstream global network and its vast address space would support the expected device growth.
Specially designed for IoT
Due to the absence of power grids and wired communication infrastructure in dispersed geographical areas such as agricultural zones and city scenarios, certain locations might lack access to common Internet connectivity resources like Wi-Fi or cellular networks. To enable connectivity with the application platforms set up in the cloud, IoT devices need the state-of-the-art solutions that we pointed out above to feature scalable, long-range, low-power, wireless and/or lightweight designs.
Security in Smart Scenarios
Due to the distributed and physically dispersed architecture created by the components and services from various suppliers, these specialized networks are vulnerable to security and privacy risks. Numerous large IoT device deployments and networks have increased the number of security attack vectors available. Attackers may take advantage of these devices, which operate for long periods of time without supervision. This specifically impacts administrators who deploy IoT devices without specialized knowledge or tools. In order to strengthen next-generation IoT services for lucrative commercial areas such as Smart Cities and Smart Agriculture, standardized protocols are essential to securely perform activities such as an authenticated key exchange and end-to-end object encryption.
The importance of REWIRE must be highlighted as one of its primary aims is to address many of the challenges of Smart scenarios and achieve an efficient and secure IoT message exchange scheme. REWIRE is carefully designed to create a seamless environment where IoT protocols leverage on adaptation mechanisms (compression, object-security, fragmentation, side-channel protections, etc.) to create a framework that makes it easy for isolated constrained devices to be part of an interconnected network.