The rise of the Internet of Things or IoT provides an environment where everyday objects ally and contribute together in a system that gives way to the convergence of smart devices and conventionally connected devices. The IoT is considered the third global wave of the information industry after the inventions of the computer and the Internet.
Today, a very wide diversity of objects ranging from cars, medical equipment, thermostats, lighting systems, and many other devices are connected to the Internet of Things. The vision of a complete IoT company is that it will design, develop and incorporate a world of low-cost sensors which can be programmed to generate solutions or services which can tell us, for example, to reduce the amount of caffeine we consume after 8 pm or to turn on the lights in the room gradually increasing their brightness the moment you wake up from a deep sleep at the beginning of the day.
The presence of the internet of things is very broad in our traditional activities. The IoT is divided into verticals, which at the beginning of the 2000s considered the existence of six of them. Currently, it is estimated that there are about 30 verticals, some of them robust and fully operational, others under development or recently created. It is for this reason that the concept of the IoT is considered a living definition since its constant growth and the incorporation of various contributions and virtues provide new characteristics to this definition.
Approximately 6.3 billion people lived on the planet in 2003 and 500 million devices were connected to the Internet according to a Cisco Report in 2011. This indicates that there was less than one (0.08) device for each person. In projections, for the year 2020, it was estimated that there would be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet, a number that amid the pandemic drives the hypothesis that this projection has fallen short.
Due to the aforementioned facts, the likely impact of not having the correct level of cybersecurity when billions of smart devices connect to the internet under the IoT umbrella and all of these interact without robust cybersecurity mechanisms to get information to the right things , in the right place at the right time through the right channel would be simply catastrophic, since this could impact in so many different ways, for example, the possibility of creating spaces that facilitate the creation of crimes against data protection, the fall or unavailability of critical services, placing the sovereignty of a country at risk or, most importantly, the loss of human life.
The IoT-IIoT is a new paradigm shift, where things have their own digital identities, they can be located, tracked, monitored, controlled and automated.
The convergence of the activities of traditional information technology (IT), operational technologies (OT) or industrial networks, and cloud computing result in what I have promoted under the name of hyperconvergence, which facilitates the interaction between the IoT, smart cities, IIoT and critical infrastructures, which significantly increases the complexity of being able to deliver levels of cybersecurity according to the need that is currently required. The acceleration towards digitization and remote working has caused the use of hyperconvergence to grow enormously rapidly.
The need to raise the levels of cybersecurity in IoT-IIoT environments is inexcusable. The objective of this column is to bring everyone from this publication closer to the various components that make up the IoT, as well as to identify the enablers that drive these environments and what are the best practices, communication protocols, and standards that at the level of Cybersecurity exist in the various verticals of the Internet of Things.
Freddy Macho is president of the IoT Cybersecurity Research Center. He is a coordinator of the Center for Industrial Cybersecurity. He is also president of the IoT Committee (Cybersecurity Laboratory of the Organization of American States. Moreover, he is a chairman of the IoT Security Institute Chile.