Home » Suprise! The internet of things doesn’t necessarily include the internet

Suprise! The internet of things doesn’t necessarily include the internet

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Now a familiar concept Internet of Things (IoT) It’s new to actually envision a large-scale deployment of “things,” mostly sensors, that are directly connected to the Internet and can be used by many companies, such as the Internet, to form the basis for new applications. was. Neither the business model of that approach nor the privacy / security issues were easily validated, so we fell back to something that would significantly eliminate the Internet from the IoT.

But what will replace it?

Answer: Network of Things or NoT. If you haven’t heard of the concept, you’re in the first step to understanding the problem.

Actual NoTs fall into two main categories. The first is consumerism, which is also used in small businesses and remote offices of businesses. In this model, Wifi Used to connect the device to the vendor’s website. This gives users access to technology for monitoring and controlling their devices. The second mode is the one most likely to be adopted by a company and varies. Highly specialized protocol designed specifically for the IoT.. It is these protocols that build the actual network of things, and most network experts know very little about them.

The actual IoT protocol is a combination of proprietary and standard technologies. Most of them are designed to operate over a very short range in the unlicensed radio spectrum, up to hundreds of feet. They operate on the same discovery principles used by router networks and select the best route by discovering the network topology, but the implementation is very different. First, there is the problem of that short distance. The router network works at the global distance where the IoT network works within the facility.

Need for monitoring

The big problem is that these wireless IoT networks don’t come with a sniffer to detect signals and decode messages, so network experts actually monitor the network to see what’s going on. I can’t do that. They need to depend on what the IoT hub sees. That is, if the sensor or other element cannot reach the hub, it is somewhere in the wilderness. First, you need to at least enable the hub and IoT device to communicate. Then you can see the route and signal strength.

This means that the NoT planner needs to know how far the device can be separated. They need to pay particular attention to battery-powered ones, as they cannot repeat the signal to extend the range. The best strategy is to place the hub somewhere in the center, add a range extender / repeater to boost the signal, work from near the hub to the outside, check out the added hub, and get a new one. Is to make sure you are actually connected before adding. .. Once all the repeaters are in place, add an element of AC power. Again, start near the repeater and work outwards. Battery-powered ones will be added last. If something doesn’t connect, you’ll need to add repeaters until everything works.

Once the NoT element mesh is established, it tends to function calmly, at least as long as everything is powered. Every IoT device has its own power failure behavior. Most switches and sensors remember the state at the time of the failure and recover in the same state, but if that is not desirable, the application should be programmed to restore the state better. Also, the power supply to the hub is a simple device that can be damaged by surges or sudden power loss / recovery, so special attention may be required. Place the UPS on the hub to ensure safety.

Security of connected devices

The next issue is hub security. Obviously, these little cheap plastic boxes aren’t supercomputers with all sorts of resources available to protect connections. Better IoT protocols provide encrypted messages, but if the hub is secure, the value of its functionality is that devices need to be explicitly added to the network and cannot be easily compromised by third parties. Is limited. The IoT protocol is also very limited in its ability to execute, making it difficult for an attacker to gain much by endangering a device.

Real security issues arise at the perimeter between the NoT network and the rest of the network: the Internet or VPN. Hubs often provide a link between these two very different worlds, and hubs aren’t much more powerful than IoT devices. The hub can be as large as a deck of playing cards. This means a unique security feature upstream of the hub. VPNFor example, there are restrictions. If someone breaks into the hub, they can not only add or remove their device from NoT, but they can also break into the VPN upstream from the hub.

The lesson here is that from a security standpoint, it’s important to protect the connection to anything from the hub as much as possible. The physical security of the hub is important, and the connection between the hub and the rest of the network is also important. If possible, use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. If you use Wi-Fi, configure separate networks for your hub and Wi-Fi IoT devices to prevent IoT hacks from opening. I will upload the entire company.

IoT sensor traffic latency

The final problem is the dreaded control loop. This is the path between the message that is supposed to start a process step and the software application logic that issued the command. Many IoT applications are very sensitive to latency. Imagine a heavy truck moving along a gate. Here, the RFID sensor reads the truck’s ID and sends a request to see if the vehicle is expected and where the vehicle is going. If the gate is open when the truck is verified, the driver may continue to roll slowly in the hope that the gate will open. If the control loop is long, that is, the latency is long, expect the truck to pass through two unopened gates. Not a happy result.

The problem with NoT control loops is that they span NoTs, VPNs, and clouds or data centers. All of that latency needs to be summed up, and due to the limitations already mentioned, it is difficult to measure the part within NoT. The only way to get reliable information about the control loop is to run the test not only when the application is installed, but also when some parts of the application change. Simply adding a sensor to NoT can change the delay in another part of the network.

NoT is neither for sissy nor for traditional network professionals. The path to NoT’s success is to understand how different it is and learn more about NoT before fixing and connecting gears. If you do it right, all those gates and trucks will thank you.

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