Did you say IoT? I heard Data Breach, Let’s see how we can fix that

A simple yet informative view of the current widely used IoT architecture and possible ways to improve it.

There is no single and general agreement about the architecture of IoT that’s agreed on by the entire world and researchers. Many and different architectures are proposed by researchers. consistent with some researchers, IoT architecture has three layers, but some researchers support the four-layer architecture but the essential IoT model has 3-layer architecture, including the application layer, the network layer, and the perception layer. Each layer differentiates by its functions and technologies attached, so each layer has security issues related to it.

The 3 layered architecture which consists of Perception, Network and application layer have their security issues. Where the Perception layer has to deal with issues such as Eavesdropping, Node Capture, Fake & malicious nodes, and Replay Attack; Network layer has to deal with issues such as Denial of Service (DoS) Attack, Main-in-The-Middle (MiTM) Attack, and Storage attack whereas application layer is dealing with Cross-Site Scripting, Malicious Code Attack and The ability to handle Mass Data. These are just some ways how the data being transmitted can be breached and used by hackers to gain access to your other smart devices or use the data for malicious activity.

As the technology is growing and the hackers are becoming more fierce and shrewd we need a more durable, robust, and efficient architecture. This need resulted in the formulation of a 7 Layered architecture which can help in mitigating the attacks and breaches.

This model separates the functionalities which were earlier clubbed into 3 layers making it more efficient and eventually making it difficult for the hacker to bypass all the 7 layers. let’s take a quick look at the 7 distinguished layers:-

Layer 1: The things

The ecosystem must have a spread of devices, sensors, and controllers that enable their interconnection and identifies objects to collect information. For this purpose, differing types of sensors are attached to objects such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, barcode, Bluetooth, wireless sensors, LTE, etc

Layer 2:Connectivity/Edge computing

The environment and therefore the place where all connections are made before the exchange of data within the IoT ecosystem. It defines all communication protocols and establishes a network for Edge computing. It receives information in a variety of ciphertexts. the rationale for receiving information in the ciphertext format is to safeguard from attackers and risks.

Layer 3: — Global infrastructure

It is the layer that relies on cloud infrastructure. this is often because most IoT solutions believe the mixing of cloud services. Observed from the business perspective, this is often an inevitable solution in recent times because the cloud provides an entire upgrade to the customer’s perspective whether it is storage or security.

Layer 4: -Data ingestion

The data ingestion is additionally known as the data entry layer. this is often inevitably thought of massive Data, also because of the cleansing and data store. Also, data streaming processes are present during this layer as a building element of knowledge ingestion. It stores, analyses, and processes an enormous amount of data. It uses various technologies to extract useful information like databases, cloud computing, and processing modules.

Layer 5: — Data analysis

This is associated with the processing of knowledge to organize the report, data processing, the implementation of machine learning, etc. Standard RDBMS systems are designed to handle the usual CRUD data model (Create, Read, Update, Delete). But that’s not how IoT data works. A data platform that’s designed for prime volume, high-efficiency ingestion of sensor data. a knowledge platform that comes with the power to display and analyze IoT sensor data in near real-time

Layer 6:-Applications

It is liable for format and presentation. it’s also liable for the delivery of various applications to different users. It defines several applications during which IoT is often used, like smart home, smart transport, smart cities, smart health, animals, and agriculture. On the opposite hand, this suggests that this layer is where the mixing of users and objects from rock bottom layer of architecture takes place.

Layer 7: — People and Process

This includes all business entities as an association of IoT ecosystems and, simultaneously the people involved in deciding on the idea of knowledge obtained from the IoT ecosystem, with the assistance of all the structures that were previously mentioned in architecture.

This architecture alone is not enough to safeguard our data so some additional security measures are important to implement such as:-

a) Encryption and Hashed Based Security

To make user’s information secure, researchers proposed a way i.e. encryption and hashed based security. using Encryption and hash algorithms devices in the IoT can securely send messages between them. The encryption algorithm is used to ensure confidentiality as the attackers cannot interpret the ciphertext that is sent. To ensure integrity (ciphertext is not changed) hash algorithm is used.

b) SDN & IoT

The combination of SDN technologies and IoT technologies will result in one single efficient architecture that has three devices: IoT agent, IoT controller, and SDN controller. SDN through its ability to effectively route traffic and use unused network resources will make it much easier to organize for the huge data of IoT. SDNs will eliminate blockages and efficiently to help the data generated by IoT to be processed without placing a much bigger strain on the network.

Okay so now we have talked about the possible architecture improvements and the last but not the least thing we can do is using Third-party applications for security, integration, automation, monitoring, optimization, and ease of use. These 3 are the most effective and efficient IoT pioneers according to me who cover all the parameters talked above.

OpenHab Use a powerful and flexible engine to design rules, with time and event-based triggers, scripts, actions, notifications, and voice control. open runs on your hardware, it does not require any cloud service to work but is compatible with cloud services like Alexa and IFTTT, keeps your data privately at home, and talks directly to your local devices whenever possible.

NOZOMI networks provide an array of services for IoT security ranging from analyzing your network to detecting the threats and anomalies and securing and monitoring it for further anomalies Some services and product are:- Central Management, Console Threat Intelligence, and Asset Intelligence

Zingbox IoT Guardian is an AI-powered, cloud-based platform that automates the working of the IoT lifecycle to provide security, management, and optimization of all devices. It integrates with existing frameworks like CMMS, ITSM, SIEM, NAC, and firewalls, and eliminates the necessity to administer multiple, disparate systems.

Finally, what we can conclude is that IoT technology is being increasingly integrated into our routines and cyber-attacks are increasing at the same rate. However, companies and users are finally realizing the risks that IoT devices bring back to the workplace, also as what it means to possess devices that are connected to a company network. Risk management in the area of IoT is not at its prime but is only gradually developing with better and improved architecture and many plugins, services, and hands-on devices for security. So let’s enjoy this technology and work to make it more secure.

Hope you found this helpful. If you liked this article or if it helped you in any way. Please leave some claps. And I wouldn’t mind 50 of them ;)

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