IoT-Internet of Things-Boon or Curse for mankind

This tutorial section on IoT (Internet of Things) covers following sub topics:
Main tutorial  IoT section  IoT article  Cellular IoT  Components  Sensors  INDIAN companies  Antenna Types  Wireless technologies  IoT transceiver  SoC 

In this article we will describe what is IoT, how does it work, IoT applications and will discuss whether it is boon or curse for the mankind.

What is IoT?

IoT stands for Internet of Things, the technology which helps us interact with things around us in various ways. The things can be systems, machines or static objects. Unlike M2M which is used for machine to machine communication for mere monitoring and control applications, IoT is used for wide variety of applications. The applications of IoT are enormous viz. interacting with text books using QR code printed on it, smart meters, home router, TV, light control, A/C control, finding where which movie is running using NFC. IoT has covered all the industries right from energy, manufacturing, healthcare, telecom and transportation.

Though there are numerous advantages of IoT for the user there are many security aspects which need to be taken care by the user of IoT enabled devices. There are three main aspects such as connectivity, remote management and security.

The concept of clouds and mobile app has pioneered the existence of IoT.

How does it Work?

As mentioned any device,system,person referred as things can be remotely controlled using applications running on smart device(can be smart phone,remote controller etc.). Only need to have IP address assigned to each IoT things. There is no common protocol stack finalized for IoT things. In general First each things should have physical layer to connect with the medium either wired or wireless(wifi,WiPAN,LTE,GSM etc.). Second, each should have layer to interface with backhaul network as per technology the device will be developed for. The third is basic IP address interface. These three basic layers comprise the IoT protocol stack. The figure depicts IoT network comprised of Hub and things. Things can be either controller or things directly. In the case of controller, it is controller which controls the things.

IoT Internet of Things network

IoT Applications

Following are few of the use cases or applications we will take to understand security risks involved in having IoT enabled devices.


People install camera in their premises for security reasons to monitor the activities to avoid any theft or other risks. Sometimes due to this, privacy will be at risk. This happens due to faulty software installed on the camera. Due to bug in the software if someone knows the IP address of the camera the camera feeds are viewed on the internet. There are search engines and applications which help find IP connected devices on the internet provided they have some bug in the software. To avoid this situation and help us be secure one has to be smart enough to buy the reputed company products. Have a self security audit of the device you have purchased.

Smart meter

The second use case, we will consider in our discussion is the smart meter. These smart meter devices send the data to their service provider via local data collection hubs. These intermediate hubs need to be secured by the service provider otherwise this may lead to security risks.

Home Router

The third use case in our discussion of IoT is the router used in our home. The router connects us with the world of internet. It connects our system with the internet service provider. As we do not have habit of switching off the router provided by the service provider and it remains on 24 hours of the day will lead to security risk. User of these innovative devices need to follow basic guidelines to help them secure. They even need to check for any updates on latest software releases or patches (if any) for the devices they have purchased from the manufacturers.

According to me following should be taken care to avoid any security risk:
1. Provide control to things which are really necessary and do the automate entire house and all the things.
2. If someone really wants to automate entire house involving everything then one need to be very smart and check before things are put operational. Also need to have regular check. One has to have check for any software upgrades,patches from the manufacturers time to time.

Companies exploring the IoT Opportunities

Intel has recently introduced Gateway solutions for IoT along with companies such as McAfee and Wind River. This helps companies convert industrial devices into IoT compliant devices.

McAfee is also working towards providing assurance that devices manufactured are working as expected and they do not have any problem or issue.This helps users feel secure that IoT devices are secured from any threat.

Cisco is working towards converting all the devices into IP enabled devices. This is possible with their latest developments in IP space i.e. availability of IPv6 in a 40KB RAM.

Microsoft has also introduced windows operating system for IoT platform.

Oracle is promoting embedded java technology as key for IoT enabled devices.

Conclusion: If properly managed IoT can be boon for mankind and if not managed carefully it can become curse for the mankind.
Refer IoT security aspects or precautions➤ to be taken care while using IoT products or services.


This page on IoT sensors cover different types of sensors used in IoT. It include optical sensor,ambient light sensor,proximity sensor,gesture sensor,temperature,pressure,inertia,humidity,touch and fingerprint based MEMS sensors, Read more.

IoT components page covering Op-Amp,Battery monitoring IC,sensors,supply regulator,RFIC,processor used for IoT device manufacturing, Read more.

The article describing about IoT, how does it work, IoT stack,Internet of Things applications and will discuss whether IoT is boon or curse for the mankind,Read more.

To know about cellular IoT basics and primary requirements of IoT device interfacing with cellular networks such as GSM,LTE,M2M etc., Read more.

IoT Wireless Technologies

WLAN    ➤THREAD    ➤EnOcean    ➤LoRa    ➤SIGFOX    ➤WHDI    ➤Zigbee   ➤6LoWPAN   ➤Zigbee RF4CE   ➤Z-Wave   ➤NFC   ➤RFID   ➤Lonworks   ➤CEBus   ➤UPB  

RF and Wireless Terminologies