IoT Architecture and Systemic Challenges

The following section elaborates on the multiple-layer structure of the IoT and the numerous factors, parameters, and conditions that form the skeletal framework for the IoT architecture. For its varied uses, the IoT has become an indispensable tool in every industry, ranging from energy conservation in smart buildings [11] to its use in green buildings management and smart automation. In all of these, it is necessary to identify challenges at every step of the way. Tanishq Varshney et al. [12] have described these challenges in detail, in “Architectural Model of Security Threats & their Countermeasures in IoT.” The section also presents the threats faced at different strata of the architecture.

Sensing Layer: Introduction and Challenges in End-Nodes

Amidst the vast variety of IoT devices that surround humans, the most common are sensors, actuators, RFID readers, RFID tags, etc. These devices form a set of devices that are collectively termed as the sensing layer of the IoT architecture. The critical contribution of this layer in the IoT can be broadly summed up as the sensing of ambient parameters and the transmission of sensed data for processing in the next layers [13]. A few parameters need to be considered in the sensing layer:

  • • Cost, resource and energy consumption: The devices are equipped with minimal energy resources and memory, in order to reduce cost.
  • • Communication: The devices act as the receiving ends of information and are designed to communicate with other devices on the network.
  • • Networks: WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks) and WMNs (Wireless Mesh Networks) connect a unique category of things in a complex, wireless and autonomous networks are employed for data acquisition, transmission, and operation.

Figure 5.2 explains the fundamentals of service-oriented architecture in an IoT network and its interaction with the other layers of IoT infrastructure. Coupled with synchronized computing and communication capabilities, the IoT is credited with tapping into the potential offered by these individual sensors, turning them from classic into smart. In this regard, the security of the end nodes of the sensing layer of this network becomes of prime importance, particularly owing to the uncertainty regarding data control. The foremost prerequisite for the security mechanism in the Internet of Things is to have the rationale to make its own decisions, which includes approving a command to accept, execute, or terminate it. However, the confines of "Things” set up for minimal energy consumption and

Service-Oriented Architecture IoT

FIGURE 5.2 Service-Oriented Architecture IoT.

limited memory pose an extended range of security vulnerabilities at the sensing layer and end node. Upon sorting the various insecurities and threats faced by the sensing layer of the IoT, a few security preconditions are essential, including security prerequisites in IoT end nodes: confidentiality, integrity, privacy, access control, authentication, physical security protection, and nonrepudiation. Security Prerequisites in the IoT sensing layer are device authentication, authentication of the information source, availability, integrity, and confidentiality.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned requirements in the sensing layer of the IoT network, the actions suggested include: the creation of a trustworthy data sensing system and reinstatement of the privacy and confidentiality of all devices in a network, the identification of the source of users forensically and further tracing of them, designing the software or firmware of the IoT to secure end-nodes, and administering security standards for all IoT devices.

Threat Based on Network Layer

For the optimum utilization of data procured in the sensing layer, it is equally important to transmit data among the IoT infrastructure. The network layer, thus, provides the necessary medium to exchange information. For smooth functioning and coordination among IoT devices, the proper arrangement, organization, and management of networks are important, for which the prerequisites include: effective network management, such as wireless networks, fixed networks, or mobile networks; energy efficiency within the network layer; QoS requirements; the maintenance of privacy, confidentiality, and security, and a mechanism for mining and searching.

Among these requirements, the maintenance of privacy, confidentiality, and security lies w'ithin the purview of the chapter, and its importance is critical, based on the complexity and mobility of IoT networks. Although existing security protocols and frameworks have provided security against threats and vulnerabilities until now, a multitude of concerns need to be addressed, entailing broad security provisions to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and privacy for group authentication, the protection of keys, and the availability of data. Second, IoT security entails protection against privacy leakage: The location and complexity of certain devices in an IoT network often troubles developers, w'ho fear the susceptibility of attacks upon sensitive data, such as user identity and credentials. Third, it has secure communication: For an IoT system to exist, it must be fortified against the attacks and reinforced with robustness, trustworthiness, and confidentiality. Fourth, it has fake network messages: Creating fake signals propagates miscommunication among the devices from the entire network. And last, it includes MITM attacks: Attacks are carried out independently by attackers over networks, to forge a private connection while the attacker is controlling the entire conversation.

Although the innovations and technology currently available have kept the major threats at bay until recently, the growing influence of attackers has sent shockwaves across the globe. A series of steps in the following directions could help to provide greater security in the future. These include a stringent authentication/authorization process and secure transport encryption.

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