The Internet of Things (IoT) implies connectivity, and developers have lots of wired and wireless options at their disposal to make it happen. Certainly the Internet is the main one but there are also other systems, for example Mash networking and Bluetooth.
December 7 was made available the latest Bluetooth technology with the name “Bluetooth 5”. This new version has been developed to support the increasing development of IoT, and to support multiple linked objects and interacting each other. The main new features are highlighted in greater distance connection, speed and, of course the ability to connect multiple devices simultaneously. Specifically, the signal has quadrupled the distance for connection, doubled the speed and is eight times the capacity of transmitting the message compared the previous version. This will surely give more stability to the IoT communication also because the new technology reduces interference with other devices.
In October 2016 some of most heavily trafficked web site in US and Europe (e.g. Twitter, the Guardian, Netflix, Reddit and CNN) had more than one problem to guarantee the continuity of their online services. This because they experienced the worst DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack in their history. In specific, a network of computers infected, with special malware known as a “botnet”, were coordinated into attacking a server with traffic until it collapses under the strain.
This situation was made possible by two main factors:
- DNS infrastructure vulnerability;
- Many cheap and not secured IoT devices connected (in particular cameras and DVR players), which made the life easier for cybercriminals.
After that attack, backbone providers have increased their security level but nothing has been done for the security of IoT devices.
Considering the area with more developments and investment in IoT and also considering the consumers’ demand and expectation, there are four sectors with high risk of security:
- Healthcare. The 2017 will be a year with more investment in IoT (more devices and digital applications) because IoT represents a solution for many different healthcare problems (e.g. patients with blood pressure can be monitored from home and also other preventive and diagnostics are possible). The risk is that attacks could disrupt the service and those could also steal personal IDs and data.
- Financial. This sector will face difficult time due to different situations. From one side, they have the challenge of Bitcoins and Artificial Intelligence and, on the other side, consumers’ devices and Apps could represent a threat.
- Retails. For 2017, the B2C revenue generated by apps and IoT (see recent Amazon developments) have a positive forecast but this will generate additional challenges to protect this business and sensitive consumer’s data.
- Communication and Media. Companies operating in this sector have the double necessity: strengthen their service security and still guarantee an easy access across multiple channels.
As soon as it is believed that a new frontier is approaching another one shows up at the horizon. In this case I’m talking about the “Internet of Nano Things”. This is a connection system based on a series of very small components capable of circular even in our body or be mixed in the materials used for the construction of buildings and things and that are connected together to exchange information.
IONT uses nano devices (comparable to one hundred nanometers), which, taken individually, are able to provide enough functionality and perform simple tasks but, if supported by IOT, may perform more complex tasks.
This new technology can be used in so different contexts. For example, in the medical field, going to integrate the body area network and allow a more accurate communication of body values as shown in the image below.
They can also be integrated into other components in order to have very accurate maps and rich in detail as changing light, magnetic fields, chemical concentrations in the air, electrical current etc.
Is currently being studied, the method of communication between these nano devices. There are two hypotheses on the subject:
- Molecular communication. The information (message) would be encoded and enclosed in a molecule and then be received and decoded by another molecule.
- Electromagnetic communication. The message is sent using electromagnetic radiation released by components present in nano-materials.
Unfortunately, there are not many details available about these methods of transmission and must remit the full explanation for the near future.
Although this may seem fascinating and definitely can help to improve the conditions of human life, we must also reflect on the dangers they pose to the protection of privacy and personal safety. In fact, as I nano devices are so small that they can deliberately or inadvertently be easily inhaled or introduced in the body, they may cause reactions of our immune system or be toxic. In addition, these devices can be integrated into materials for the construction of houses and other objects, even without our knowledge, and could capture and release personal information.