Internet of things

jassem ben ali
9 min readJan 2, 2022


1. Introduction:

What is internet of things (IoT)?

The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

2. what’s a thing in the internet of things?

A thing in the internet of things can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address and is able to transfer data over a network.[1]

3. Why is IoT such a big deal?

Because it makes connected cities safer; asset tracking more cost effective; healthcare more personalized; and energy consumption more efficient.

4. What is the history of the Internet of Things?

The idea of adding sensors and intelligence to basic objects was discussed throughout the 1980s and 1990s , but apart from some early projects including an internet-connected vending machine progress was slow simply because the technology wasn’t ready. Chips were too big and bulky and there was no way for objects to communicate effectively.[2]

Processors that were cheap and power-frugal enough to be all but disposable were needed before it finally became cost-effective to connect up billions of devices. The adoption of RFID tags — low-power chips that can communicate wirelessly — solved some of this issue, along with the increasing availability of broadband internet and cellular and wireless networking. The adoption of IPv6 — which, among other things, should provide enough IP addresses for every device the world (or indeed this galaxy) is ever likely to need — was also a necessary step for the IoT to scale.

The IoT integrates the interconnectedness of human culture our ‘things’ with the interconnectedness of our digital information system ‘the internet.’ That’s the IoT,” Ashton told ZDNet.

Adding RFID tags to expensive pieces of equipment to help track their location was one of the first IoT applications. But since then, the cost of adding sensors and an internet connection to objects has continued to fall, and experts predict that this basic functionality could one day cost as little as 10 cents, making it possible to connect nearly everything to the internet.

The IoT was initially most interesting to business and manufacturing, where its application is sometimes known as machine-to-machine (M2M), but the emphasis is now on filling our homes and offices with smart devices, transforming it into something that’s relevant to almost everyone. Early suggestions for internet-connected devices included ‘blogjects’ (objects that blog and record data about themselves to the internet), ubiquitous computing (or ‘ubicomp’), invisible computing, and pervasive computing. However, it was Internet of Things and IoT that stuck.[2]

5. What are the benefits of the Internet of Things for consumers?

The IoT promises to make our environment — our homes and offices and vehicles smarter, more measurable. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home make it easier to play music, set timers, or get information. Home security systems make it easier to monitor what’s going on inside and outside, or to see and talk to visitors. Meanwhile, smart thermostats can help us heat our homes before we arrive back, and smart lightbulbs can make it look like we’re home even when we’re out.

Looking beyond the home, sensors can help us to understand how noisy or polluted our environment might be. Self-driving cars and smart cities could change how we build and manage our public spaces.

The House that Alexa Built: An Amazon showcase in London in 2017.[3]

For consumers, the smart home is probably where they are likely to come into contact with internet-enabled things, and it’s one area where the big tech companies (in particular Amazon, Google, and Apple) are competing hard.[3]

5. What about Internet of Things security?

Privacy and security are among the significant challenges of the Internet of Things (IoT). Improper device updates, lack of efficient and robust security protocols, user unawareness, and famous active device monitoring are among the challenges that IoT is facing. In this work, we are exploring the background of IoT systems and security measures, and identifying different security and privacy issues, approaches used to secure the components of IoT-based environments and systems, existing security solutions, and the best privacy models necessary and suitable for different layers of IoT driven applications.

IoT brought users huge benefits; however, some challenges come along with it. Cybersecurity and privacy risks are the primary concerns of the researchers and security specialists cited. These two are posing a considerable predicament for many business organizations as well as public organizations. Prevalent high-profile cybersecurity attacks have demonstrated the vulnerabilities of IoT technologies. This vulnerability is simply because the interconnectivity of networks in the Internet of Things brings along accessibility from anonymous and untrusted Internet requiring novel security solutions.


The IoT is diverse from traditional computers and computing devices, makes it more vulnerable to security challenges in different ways :

  • Many devices in the Internet of Things are designed for deployment on a massive scale. An excellent example of this is sensors.
  • Usually, the deployment of IoT comprises of a set of alike or nearly identical appliances that bear similar characteristics. This similarity amplifies the magnitude of any vulnerability in the security that may significantly affect many of them.
  • Similarly, many institutions have come up with guides for risk assessment conduction. This step means that the probable number of links interconnected between the IoT devices is unprecedented. It is also clear that many of these devices can establish connections and communicate with other devices automatically in an irregular way. These call for consideration of the accessible tools, techniques, and tactics which are related to the security of IoT.

Even with the issue of security in the sector of information and technology not being new, IoT implementation has presented unique challenges that need to be addressed. The consumers are required to trust the Internet of Things devices and the services are very secure from weaknesses, particularly as this technology continues becoming more passive and incorporated in our everyday lives. With weakly protected IoT gadgets and services, this is one of the very significant avenues used for cyber attacks as well as the exposure of the data of users by leaving data streams not protected adequately.

The nature of the interconnection of the IoT devices means if a device is poorly secured and connected it has the potential of affecting the security and the resilience on the Internet internationally. This behavior is simply brought about by the challenge of the vast employment of homogenous devices of IoT. Besides the capability of some devices to be able to mechanically bond with other devices, it means that the users and the developers of IoT all have an obligation of ensuring that they are not exposing the other users as well as the Internet itself to potential harm. A shared approach required in developing an effective and appropriate solution to the challenges is currently witnessed in the IoT.

When it comes to authentication, for instance, IoT faces various vulnerabilities, which remain one of the most significant issues in the provision of security in many applications. The authentication used is limited in how it protects only one threat, such as Denial of Service (DoS) or replay attacks. Information security is one of the significant vulnerable areas in the authentication of IoT due to the prevalence of applications which are risky due to their natural multiplicity of data collection in the IoT environment. If we can, for instance, take an example of contactless credit cards. These cards are capable of permitting card numbers and names to be read without the authentication of IoT; this makes it possible for hackers to be able to purchase goods by using a bank account number of the cardholder and their identity.

One of the most prevalent attacks in the IoT is the man in the middle, where the third-party hijack communication channel is aimed at spoofing identities of the palpable nodes which are involved in network exchange. Man in the middle attack effectively makes the bank server recognize the transaction being done as a valid event since the adversary does not have to know the identity of the supposed victim.


The perspective of the usefulness of the IoT is dependent on how well it can respect the privacy choices of people. Concerns regarding the privacy and the potential harms that come along with IoT might be significant in holding back the full adoption of IoT. It is essential to know that the rights of privacy and user privacy respect are fundamental in ensuring users’ confidence and self-assurance in the Internet of Things, the connected device, and related services offered. A lot of work is being undertaken to ensure that IoT is redefining the privacy issues such things as the increase of surveillance and tracking. The reason for the privacy concerns is because of the omnipresent intelligence integrated artifacts where the sampling process and the information distribution in the IoT may be done nearly in any place. The ubiquitous connectivity via the Internet access is also an essential factor that helps in understanding this problem because unless there is a unique mechanism put in place, then it will be decidedly more comfortable to access the personal information from any corner of the world.


A fragmented environment of proprietary IoT technical implementation is known to inhibit value for users. Even though full interoperability is not always feasible across products and services, the users may not like buying products and services where there is no flexibility and concerns over dealer lock-in. Poorly planned IoT gadgets might mean that there will be a negative consequence for the networking resources that they connect to.

Cryptography is another essential aspect that has been used for many years to provide defense against security loopholes in many applications . An effective defensive mechanism against the attacks perpetrated is not possible using one security application. It, therefore, requires different layers of security against the threats to the authentication of IoT.

By the development of more advanced security features and building these features into products, hacks may be evaded. This evasion is because the users will buy products that already have proper security features preventing vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity frameworks are some of the measures put forward to ensure that IoT is secure .

Moreover, some several factors and concerns might have an impact on compromising the efforts to secure the Internet of Things devices; these include:

  • Occasional update: usually, IoT manufacturers update security patches quarterly. The OS versions and security patches are also upgraded similarly. Therefore, hackers get sufficient time to crack the security protocols and steal sensitive data.
  • Embedded passwords: IoT devices store embedded passwords, which helps the support technicians to troubleshoot OS problems or install necessary updates remotely. However, hackers could utilize the feature for penetrating device security.
  • Automation: often, enterprises and end-users utilize the automation property of IoT systems for gathering data or simplifying business activities. However, if the malicious sites are not specified, integrated AI can access such sources, which will allow threats to enter into the system.
  • Remote access: IoT devices utilize various network protocols for remote access like Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Z-Wave. Usually, specific restrictions are not mentioned, which can be used to prevent cybercriminals. Therefore, hackers could quickly establish a malicious connection through these remote access protocols.
  • Wide variety of third-party applications: several software applications are available on the Internet, which can be used by organizations to perform specific operations. However, the authenticity of these applications could not be identified easily. If end-users and employees install or access such applications, the threat agents will automatically enter into the system and corrupt the embedded database.
  • Improper device authentication: most of the IoT applications do not use authentication services to restrict or limit network threats. Thereby, attackers enter through the door and threaten privacy.
  • Weak Device monitoring: usually, all the IoT manufacturers configure unique device identifiers to monitor and track devices. However, some manufacturers do not maintain security policy. Therefore, tracking suspicious online activities become quite tricky.[4]