T he Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest development in the
long and continuing revolution of computing and communications.
Its size, ubiquity, and influence on everyday lives,
business, and government dwarf any technical advance that has gone
before. IoT is a term that refers to the expanding interconnection
of smart devices—ranging from appliances to tiny sensors. A dominant
theme is the embedding of short-range mobile transceivers into
a wide array of gadgets and everyday items, enabling new forms
of communication between people and things, and between things
themselves. The Internet now supports the interconnection of billions
of industrial and personal objects, usually through cloud systems.
The objects deliver sensor information, act on their environment, and
in some cases modify themselves, to create overall management of a
larger system, like a factory or city.
The “things” in IoT are primarily deeply embedded devices, characterized
by narrow bandwidth, low-repetition data capture, low-volume
data usage. These devices communicate with each other and provide
data via user interfaces. Some embedded appliances in the IoT, such
as high-resolution video security cameras, video Voice over IP (VoIP)
phones, and a handful of others, require high-bandwidth streaming
capabilities. But countless products simply require packets of data to
be intermittently delivered.
This article provides an overview of IoT, and then looks at IoT network
and security architectures that will help guide the design,
implementation, and deployment of IoT.
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