The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained immense popularity among the vast majority of enterprises in the last decade. Gartner predicts that there will be close to 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. More and more companies are hoping to use IoT to gather insights about their business. Consequently, there is a need for robust communication networks and highly secure interfaces for the transmission of data between a myriad of connected devices. Businesses often face multiple challenges when trying to integrate data and devices on an IoT platform. One of the key challenges companies face is the integration of operational technology and information technology. It is of paramount importance to ensure that there are minimal data loss and no major security vulnerabilities during the integration process

Security

According to a survey conducted by Business Wire, nearly half of the US firms using IoT devices have faced a security breach. Such breaches can lead to massive revenue loss, especially for smaller firms.  This is the most crucial challenge faced by companies when trying to integrate IoT devices with their systems are network security, data security, and application security.

Challenge

Since the IoT infrastructure is an amalgamation of sensors, gateways, hardware, and application software, it makes the entire system vulnerable to security breaches, the chances of gaining access to vast amounts of data through cyberattacks and brute force attacks are high. Additionally, IoT systems often fail to get periodic security updates, making them vulnerable to hackers and other malware attacks.

Solution

Adopting security analytics for IoT solutions and building a multi-layer defense to strengthen the company’s defenses, preparing for worst-case scenarios, and continuously monitoring device and sensor health are good ways to ensure that there are minimal instances of security failure in terms of the network. Data security can be taken care of by securing the IoT devices with an authentication process, providing access to IoT gateways only to relevant stakeholders, and having an encryption method is established based on the kind of data in question, and access to data is limited to a secure channel. Banks make use of IoT technologies to authenticate secure transactions between banks. IoT-enabled devices also help financial institutions keep track of customer behavior to establish relevant marketing trends.

Data Integration

With the continued advancement of IoT solutions, data integration is one of the critical challenges faced by IoT solution providers. With each IoT system having thousands of sensors, it is of utmost importance for primary decision-makers to use these new opportunities to enhance performances and strategize long-term business opportunities.

Challenge

Enterprises continue to grapple with the ginormous amounts of data streaming in from disparate sensors and devices. A simple need for cleaning the data sets by eliminating unusable or repetitive data is proving to be challenging. Let alone, collating, and analyzing this data to leverage it for any practical purpose.

Solution

IoT solutions that are built after understanding the scope of the project and its long-term scalability challenges will go a long way in having the right set of objectives concerning the core IoT data integration methodologies. Modes of communication between different sections of the IoT network need to be clearly defined. API-based IoT networks will make it considerably easier for smart devices to communicate with each other and thereby reduce data discrepancies. For instance, building IoT solutions for an asset management system with multiple, distributed assets would require the IoT solutions provider to configure and provide analytics through a wide range of devices. With numerous sensors collecting and passing on data in real-time, the IoT system must be scalable and resilient enough to tackle daily challenges.

Most of the IoT challenges faced by companies currently have workarounds to fix them. However, there are still a few issues that will be resolved in the coming years. The potential long-term benefits to the business are undoubtedly high in terms of gaining a competitive edge.