February 13, 2019

New international standard for the Internet of Things

Publisher: Digital Journal

The new standard is ISO/IEC 30141, Internet of Things (IoT) - Reference architecture, and it sets out to provide an internationally standardized IoT Reference Architecture using a common vocabulary, reusable designs and industry best practice.

Rapid growth The Internet of Things continues to grow at a rapid pace. Most applications deploy existing technology and combines this by connecting devices together so that business operations can be improved and so that costs can be lowered. Many IoT applications are concerned with collecting data, allowing devices to work in synchronicity and for boosting customer engagement. According to a review by Forbes, the global IoT market is set to expand from $157 billion to $457 billion by 2020. In terms of the sectors leading this growth, discrete manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and utilities will be the lead sectors. To add to this forecast, analysts at Ericcson are of the opinion that the number of IoT devices will amount to 18 billion by 2022, driven by the desire of many companies to take advantage of advanced data analytics.

More security concerns This expansion of connected devices leads to security concerns and these concerns can be exacerbated by devices that have not been manufactured to a suitable standard. U.S. Federal Trade Commission chairwoman, Edith Ramirez has outlined three concerns with the IoT: Ubiquitous data collection. Potential for unexpected uses of consumer data. Heightened security risks. Taking security issues, cyber concerns are the result of the rush to market, according to John Cook, senior director of product management at Symantec: "A lot of the manufacturing behind IoT devices today feels like the Gold Rush... everyone wants to get there in a hurry. You effectively have people staking out a claim in the area without further thought to security." As an example of security concerns, many businesses are bringing insecure devices into their networks, and then failing to update the software. Furthermore, many legacy devices are being connected to an IoT without having suitable protections in place to guard against outside threats.

Need for a new standard Writing on the International Standards Organization blog, Dr François Coallier, Chair of the joint technical committee of ISO and the International Technical Commission (IEC) that developed the standard, notes the need for a standard to reflect the fact that the IoT is growing exponentially across a range of sectors, stating: "So we saw a need for a reference architecture to maximize the benefits and reduce the risks... this standard will provide the reference architecture to apply them to IoT systems." The new standard has been written to provide a common framework that designers and developers can use and for the resultant systems to be "trustworthy". Trust refers to creating IoT applications that are reliable, safe, secure, respect privacy and can better cope with disruptions like natural disasters and attacks.

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