IoT Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

Display portlet menu

IoT Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

Display portlet menu

Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

Guillaume Crinon Headshot
Business people around a table in a meeting about IoT security

Consider hardware, software in secure solutions

We talked about this before: there’s no one-size-fits-all IoT solution because every industry, vertical and business is different. Whether you have an in-house team or are exporting the building of infrastructure to a trusted partner, make sure the team is asking the right questions when it comes to implementing and deploying IoT solutions.

Ask yourself questions like: What does it need to return in order to afford its cost? What’s possible in the roadmap? What do you have that’s ready for an IoT deployment in-house? Then lay over each connection possibility and security protocol.

There is no one-size-fits-all technology to connect objects, machines, sensors, devices and appliances to the internet. In an ideal world we would empower every single sensor with unlimited energy and unlimited wireless broadband IPv6 access to the internet. However, in the real world, wireless connectivity has a cost in terms of radio spectrum, energy and hardware. This cost needs to be weighed in the financial equation of the application and service being deployed, where total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) dictate.

Much like connecting people was once a luxury for the rich that’s now become a mature business across a number of verticals, connecting things will soon move from luxury to necessity as the expanding market pushes down the cost of IoT deployments. While simple and complex machines and objects might be connecting, smart and disposable sensors might not, for instance. Depending on cost and power constraints on a case-by-case basis, only a selection of connectivity technologies may apply:

  • Low-cost body accessories can count on a close-by Bluetooth-capable smartphone to play the role of the internet gateway. That way, these devices can run on small button-cell batteries for months or years.
  • Mains-powered home automation devices and machines such as kitchen appliances, voice assistants and heaters can count on the home WiFi network bridging to a DSL or fiber box.
  • Battery-powered home appliances such as smoke detectors, thermostats and pet trackers will require the deployment of a low-power local area network based upon Zigbee, Thread, LoRaWAN or a proprietary protocol.
  • Always-on vending machines or display panels can afford 2G/3G/4G cellular connectivity
  • Battery-powered smart meters or environmental sensors may take advantage of a cellular LPWAN like SIGFOX, public LoRaWAN and Cat-NB1 (NB-IoT) when available
  • For industrial assets sitting in very complex radio environments where cellular coverage is harsh, such as factories, you will need to install a self-managed or external vendor-managed NaaS (N-as-a-Service) LoRaWAN network that is able to extract signals from behind thick reinforced concrete walls and floors.

Your solution’s point person should then perform a readiness assessment, evaluating cost, value, ROI and even a pilot test to get the right buy-in.  An in-house build allows for an IoT solution that’s fully customized to your use case. Need a specific protocol to help your sensors pick up information, communicate it to the cloud and then deliver it to a custom app adapted for iOS and Android? An-in house build from an in-house team is in lock step with your internal business goals, customizing your build accordingly.

However, collective knowledge from a global network means someone in some corner of the world is keeping up with IoT deployments and solutions from competitors in your industry and innovative companies in others. This built-in competitive intelligence can help them vet your business case with an objective eye, run diagnostics to prove ROI early to top executives, recommend the best solutions during the development phase and ensure security and maintenance not only with an on-site deployment but also a lifecycle management engagement.

Either way, it’s true that a fully customized in-house solution isn’t vetted for quality and assurance the way something tried and true is. Check the validation of your assumptions in order to ensure customization doesn’t leave you vulnerable to IoT security challenges you have yet to consider.

Feeling secured yet? Learn more about how to ensure security in the Internet of Things by downloading our whitepaper:

 

Security & Connectivity in the Future of the Internet of Things  

About Author

Guillaume Crinon Headshot
Guillaume Crinon

Guillaume Crinon is the Global IoT Strategy Manager at Avnet, responsible for security and connectiv...

IoT Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

Display portlet menu

IoT Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

Display portlet menu
Related Articles
Person placing a component on a board
Does hardware matter?
By Anatoli Lukkarinen   -   March 3, 2020
I believe every IoT and Industrial IoT system designer and software developer should consider the question in the title. Do you?
supply chain concept with vehicles and tools around the work IoT
For Industry 4.0, Reliability Builds on Robust Connections
June 11, 2017
Looking to relieve increasing product complexity and cost pressures, manufacturers are moving toward the next phase of industrial automation envisioned in Industry 4.0. In this concept, smart factories respond instantly to changing workloads to more
Sales clerk at retail display
3 use cases for embedded platforms enabling HMIs and IoT systems
January 22, 2020
Avnet Integrated takes the complexity out of embedding HMIs for demanding markets. In this article, we go through three common examples.
A doctor writing on a clipboard
How AI-powered virtual assistants can transform healthcare
February 26, 2019
We have witnessed a paradigm shift in the way patients are being treated by the doctors with the help of AI and machine learning.
depiction of brain surrounded by icons
The rise of machine intelligence in the AI era
February 26, 2019
Whether you know it or not, this technology has a lot of potential to deal with business-specific challenges and the benefits of deep learning outnumber its drawbacks.
Doctor checking on a patient from a remote patient monitoring device -- artificial intelligence
AI From A-Z: The biggest buzzwords around artificial intelligence
November 28, 2018
Companies across markets from consumer electronics to factory floors are finding power in the introduction of two letters: AI (artificial intelligence).
Solar panels providing an alternate power source with the city skyline they are powering in the background
Alternative Solutions For Powering IoT Devices
August 9, 2018
In this article, we look at why edge devices need power, and the options for reducing this need to a level where energy harvesting becomes sustainable.
tiny data chip on top of small data chip
A Look at the MicroSD Card of the Future: Speed and Capacity meet Reliability
June 11, 2017
Manufacturers recently released the largest capacity and fastest microSD cards ever made. The 128 GB cards demonstrate more than a 1,000-fold increase in storage density over the last decade, and the fastest speeds of these microSD cards now rival ot
energy harvesting concept with green batteries sprouting from the ground
Powering the Internet of Things via Energy Harvesting
June 11, 2017
The push is on to add Internet capability to everything—often called the Internet of Things (IoT)—and the challenge for design engineers is to figure out how to power each of these IoT nodes.
IoT concept image with icons in cloud bubbles over cityscape
Harnessing the Power of IoT: Microsoft’s Unique Approach
March 30, 2017
Little could this now-famous British serial entrepreneur have known in 1999 that the name he chose to define his approach for using RFID in P&G’s supply chain would top Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report. Hackneyed though

IoT Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

Display portlet menu
Related Events

No related events found