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What is the Internet of Things and How does it work?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing much about the world we live in, from the way we drive to how we make purchases and even how we get energy for our homes.

Sophisticated sensors and chips are embedded in the physical things that surround us, each transmitting valuable data, data that lets us better understand how these things work and work together, but how exactly do all these devices share such large quantities of data and how do we put that information to work?

Near Coding has made a brief study on the Internet of Things, what it is, how it works, how it gathers and uses data, and what we can do to protect ourselves from possible threats. Keep reading and get to know more about this complex subject.

Whether we’re improving the production of a factory, giving city residents real-time updates on which road to use or where to park, or monitoring our personal health, it’s the common Internet of Things platform that brings us diverse information together and provides the common language for the devices and apps to communicate with each other.

The process starts with the devices themselves, which securely communicate with the Internet of Things platform. This platforms integrates the data from many devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable data with applications that address industry specific needs.

Internet of Things

One of the most common buzzwords in the world of mobile app development right now is IoT, the Internet of Things.

Let’s start with a simple example: a car.

When a car has faulty behavior, the “Check Engine” light comes on, the user knows that needs to have the car looked at by a mechanic, but is not sure whether it’s something minor or something that needs immediate attention. As it turns out, the sensor that triggered the “Check Engine” light, monitors the pressure in the brake line, this sensor is one of many monitoring process throughout the car, which are constantly communicating with each other. A component in the car called the “diagnostic bus”, gathers the data from all these sensors, then passes it to a gateway in the car, the gateway integrates and sorts the data from the sensors, this way only the most relevant diagnostic information will be transmitted to the manufacturers platform, but before sending this organized data, the cars gateway and platform must first register with each other and confirm a secure communication.

The platform is constantly gathering and storing thousands of bits of information from every user’s car and hundreds of thousands of similar cars, building an historical record in a secure database. The manufacturers added rules and logic to the platform so when the user’s car sends a signal that something is wrong, the platform triggers an alert in the car.

The manufacturer also uses the platform to create and manage applications that solve specific issues. In this case, the manufacturer can deploy an application on the platform called the “asset management system”. This application oversees all of their cars on the road as well as all the parts in their warehouses, it uses the data from all the user’s cars to offer them services such a potential appointment time to service the car, directions to the nearest certified dealer and even coupons for the services. The application can even ensure which parts are covered under warranty and that the correct replacement part is ordered and then sent to the dealership so it’s ready when the user arrives.

But the manufacturer’s analysis does not stop there, they also deployed a continuous engineering application that tracks all the cars in order to improve the quality, the design and the manufacturing process of the car itself. If the same problem that affected one user affects a critical number of other cars, the manufacturer uses applications custom-built for the automobile industry to pinpoint the exact problem, they can see if these cars were made in the same factory, used the same parts, or came off from the assembly line on the same day.

So, what do all these pieces add up to? Answer: Streamlined inventory management for the dealer, a better and safer car from the manufacturer and for the end user it means they can be back on the road faster, safer, and all thanks to the Internet of Things.

But not everything is perfect in this world, the data exchange over the Internet comes with security issues, such as:

  1. Insecure Web Interfaces
  2. Insufficient Authentication/Authorization
  3. Insecure Network Services
  4. Lack of Transport Encryption
  5. Privacy concerns with the stored data.
  6. Insecure Cloud Interfaces
  7. Insecure Mobile Interfaces and Networks
  8. Insufficient Security Configurability
  9. Insecure Software/Firmware
  10. Bad Physical Security

IoT devices have great potential to make our lives easier.  However, if the security issues are not considered and addressed, the devices could lead to a lot more trouble than they are worth.

If you want to know more about the Internet of Things and how we integrate it in our daily tasks, send us a message to info@nearcoding.com, or visit nearcoding.com for more information.

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