Cheaper sensors, privacy challenges and stronger standards -- Internet of Things predictions for 2023

Internet of things

As more everyday devices gain connectivity features the Internet of Things is increasingly a part of everyone's lives.

Like any new technology it brings challenges around privacy and security, as well as placing additional demands on networks and data handling. Here is what some experts think we'll see from the IoT in 2023.

Yasser Alsaied, VP of IoT at AWS, believes we'll see continued investment in IoT technology. "Many businesses and industries will continue to invest in IoT because it provides business and operational value. For example, agriculture companies use IoT technology to expand their business by adding precision agriculture tools into their vehicles and improving their factory operations with digital twins. We are consistently seeing new customer segments, like the retail industry, unlocking the value of IoT. Customers are trying to formulate a unified experience that traverses easily between online and offline (O2O), resulting in the convergence with mobile, social media, and the Internet of Things (IoT) that can serve wherever and whenever they desire. Customers are also broadening their sustainability initiatives to go beyond emission reduction to create a smart building or smart city environment leveraging IoT to monitor energy performance, reduce waste, and align facility operations with occupancy trends."

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Reductions in the cost of technology will see more connected devices, says Nima Negahban, CEO and co-founder of Kinetica. "The cost of sensors and devices capable of broadcasting their longitude and latitude as they move through time and space is falling rapidly with commensurate proliferation. By 2025, projections suggest 40 percent of all connected IoT devices will be capable of sharing their location, up from 10 percent in 2020. Spatial thinking will help innovators optimize existing operations and drive long promised digital transformations in smart cities, connected cars, transparent supply chains, proximity marketing, new energy management techniques, and more."

And these devices will put personal privacy under threat says Vladislav Tushkanov, privacy expert at Kaspersky. "Smart home devices, smart cities with ubiquitous video surveillance, cars equipped with multiple cameras and further adoption of IoT, as well as continuous digitalization of services will make personal privacy, at least in cities, a thing of the past. So, while a metaverse promises to bring offline experiences to the online world, the online world is already taking hold of the physical realm."

Ryan Slaney, threat researcher at SecurityScorecard, thinks manufacturers will have to take security more seriously:

Connected devices have been historically known for their poor security posture. From vulnerabilities within baby monitors to critical bugs in home security systems, it's just a matter of time before a malicious actor takes full control of a user's smart home device.

To protect the privacy and security of consumers and their homes, the US government has confirmed plans for a cyber labeling program, set to launch in the spring of 2023. The initiative will help consumers make informed cybersecurity decisions about their IoT devices with easily recognized labels. With new regulations placing increased scrutiny on IoT device manufacturers in 2023, they will be compelled to significantly enhance security across their products.

Ellen Boehm, SVP of IoT strategy and operations, at Keyfactor also believes we'll see improvements to security driven by stronger standards. "In 2023, product cybersecurity standards and guidelines will continue to mature. This will present future challenges for IoT device security as professionals learn to adapt to new standards that will impact product development, operations and implementation. Industries that will continue to have a particularly hard time securing IoT devices include automotive (V2X, EV charging), med tech, utilities/metering, transportation, telecommunication and IioT/Industry4.0."

Dr. William Bain, CEO of ScaleOut Software, thinks digital twins will be a vital tool to cope with IoT data volumes. "Moving beyond their use in developing new products, digital twins are now able to track dynamically evolving state information in real time for thousands of individual IoT data sources. Called 'real-time digital twins', they provide an important breakthrough for streaming analytics. The use of per-device state information enables deep introspection within milliseconds and more effective feedback than previously possible. Unlike traditional techniques for stream processing, real-time digital twins provide insights that can be utilized immediately rather than having to wait for offline data analysis. For example, they can track a large vehicle fleet to identify lost or fatigued drivers and emerging mechanical issues. They also can track thousands of IoT sensors in a power grid, corporate infrastructure, or smart city to immediately identify and evaluate security threats."

Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye, says consumer and enterprise IoT use cases will converge to create new connectivity challenges. Previously disparate enterprise and consumer models are blending across industries such as healthcare, smart energy, electric vehicles and others. "2023 is the year that everything changes in the world of connectivity. Hardware design and configuration will become paramount as the power and choice finally switches into the hands of the enterprise and the device, and a new breed of MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) emerges to unlock this potential."

The 5G rollout will mean better access for devices which will have a knock-on effect for networks, says Samit Banerjee, division president cloud operations services and head of customer service unit at Amdocs. "The rollout of 5G networks will realign the mechanism and functioning of business networks. 5G will unleash low latency, greater capacity, and higher bandwidth, which will be a catalyst for cloud computing. It will inevitably allow easier access to the cloud for IoT systems and devices. This connectivity will facilitate greater automation and digitization of business processes."

Axiomatics' chief product officer, Mark Cassetta sees the number of digital identities widening the attack surface. "Identity-based attacks are now a threat businesses keep at the forefront of their threat awareness efforts. With remote workforces, widespread adoption of IoT, and a significant number of digital identities being created, the attack surface continues to widen, leaving organizations vulnerable to identity-based exploitation by opportunistic threat actors. Identity threat detection and response (ITDR) software can help protect identity systems, detect when they are compromised and enable efficient remediation. It is different from identity and access management (IAM) software as IAM's function is to prevent identity-related risks through proper user authentication and access up front, while ITDR identifies threats once systems have been compromised. Given the gaps in multi cloud architectures and an exponential increase in human and machine-based identities, in the new year, CISOs and security teams are evaluating ITDR to harden IAM platforms first, especially those deployed in multi cloud infrastructures."

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