The IoT boom has caused millions (or even billions) of devices to be connected together in a big ecosystem of sensors.
Reports expect the IoT market to be worth $1.6 trillion by 2025!
With the world shifting to pulses of 1’s and 0’s, veracity of complex assessments has never seen a brighter limelight before. And to make things possible, IoT solutions have come a long way from its initial drawing board concepts. Modern gateways pack more processing power than five years ago, and thus the challenges that come with them is more than naught. With binaries dictating the frontline operations, a seemingly harmless bug can wreak havoc, bringing the entire ecosystem to a standstill. And this development may not receive the warmest welcome in the industry. To avoid this crisis, compliances have become more relevant than ever before.
Common IoT Gateway Challenges
IoT gateways are present at the intersection of devices, controllers, sensors, and the cloud, bridging the communication gap between them. By offering local processing and storage capabilities, they make it easy for IoT systems to communicate with each other as well as capture, process, store and share data. Since they are located at the edge, they are the access point for connectivity, both inside and outside the device ecosystem; this also makes them the ecosystem’s first line of defense and the first point for entry for any threat vector.
However, as the web of IoT devices and sensors grows, so does the number (and complexity) of challenges:
- Understanding the different components of node connectivity and linking each device in the ecosystem.
- Understanding the power requirements of different systems and ensuring devices have an uninterrupted supply of power.
- Ensuring optimized electrical conditions for IoT gateways to perform in the most favorable manner.
- Efficiently securing the IoT gateway to avoid problems such as easy data tampering, unrestricted or unauthorized access, poor device performance as well as frequent downtime.
- Having mechanisms in place to remotely manage, support, and maintain the devices in case of an issue.
- Protecting devices against extreme weather conditions and ensuring they function as expected – despite fluctuations.
A sneak-peak into the different compliances
Given the colossal growth of the IoT market, the pace and scale at which data is being captured, processed, and shared have grown tremendously.
The focus has entirely shifted to compliance because of many reasons:
- Data protection GDPR: The massive data explosion that IoT has brought about has forced several new regulations to come into play; GDPR being one of the most popular. Since any data breach or non-compliance can jeopardize the entire IoT ecosystem while proving to be extremely costly, organizations in the business of IoT need to ensure compliance with the latest data privacy laws to avoid hefty fines and safeguard personal data.
- Vibration and shock test: IoT gateways today operate in a variety of different environments that can impact their performance. Compliance with regulations such as IEC 60068 can ensure electronic components pass vibration and shock tests. By testing components against different conditions, it helps assess their ability to perform and survive in different operational environments and withstand extreme cold and heat.
- Operational Electrical Conditions. Evaluating the ability of IoT gateways and determining their degree of readiness to perform under operational electrical conditions is also a critical requirement while setting up an IoT gateway. Such assessment helps detect faulty electrical equipment and poor electrical installations, giving you enough time to rectify and resolve the issue and sustain its performance.
- Immunity against transient disturbances: IoT gateways also need to be constantly protected from different sources of transient phenomena present in the electromagnetic environment. Since issues such as electrostatic discharge and lightning surge or switching transients and fault surges have the capability to disrupt the operation of IoT gateways or damage/destroy components, ensuring immunity against transient disturbances is critical for maintaining their performance.
A secure gateway means a secure IoT environment The security of the IoT gateway has a direct bearing on how robust the entire IoT environment is. Because IoT gateways have high processing power, they are mostly used to run intensive applications. But building these gateways is easier said than done. Carefully selecting the different components and testing them constantly to ensure they perform as expected is extremely vital. Checking their capability against certain compliances can help pinpoint gaps and allow you to bridge them for maximum performance and functionality.