In today’s digital landscape, every device is eager to connect to the internet to leverage its possibilities. Modern day smartphones have enormous memory and processing capabilities and computers are more powerful than ever. Since the internet revolution, computing and mobile devices have been designed with connectivity options to connect to the internet and with each other. Internet connectivity has mostly been leveraged by these devices owing to their ability to process data and run applications. It has made the whole internet connectivity Eco-system shift towards computing and mobile devices. Other equipment, house hold appliances, transportation vehicles were not designed to inherently leverage the power of connectivity. But things seem to be changing now, thanks to big corporations’ focus shifting towards new innovative products with Internet of Things (Io T), in which physical devices are also designed with ability to connect and communicate.

Internet has mostly been about computers, servers, information systems, mobile devices, networking equipment’s, etc. Data produced, processed or communicated by these devices claim the most portion of internet bandwidth across the globe. So far data produced by other house hold appliances, vehicles, and equipment’s were not considered worth capturing by direct connectivity.

For example, you may need information like temperature, quantity of food, items required to be replenished, etc., in your refrigerator but unfortunately your traditional refrigerator cannot deliver this information automatically. You may maintain a spreadsheet to keep track all this information, but the information will be captured manually, the fridge is not going to export it to your spreadsheet program or the smartphone app. This is where Internet of Things comes in to fill this gap. This connectivity and communication gap is filled by Internet of Things approach. Giving the refrigerators ability to capture data using sensors and transfer it to a target application via the internet connectivity makes the refrigerator good enough to be prefixed with “Smart”. Connectivity and automation improve efficiency and reduces human intervention, which leads to a lesser number of human errors.

As most aspects of life get increasingly dependent on technology, even the crucial ones, it has become important to make these devices smart enough to communicate with each other rather than depending on human intervention. For example, your car should be able to send a low fuel alert to your smartphone so that you can plan beforehand to allow extra time for fuel filling. Low fuel warning is displayed on the vehicle dashboard, but this information will have more value when conveyed on time. Vehicles that are able to communicate with other smart devices can not only send fuel alert but also other important information like pending services, or a malfunction.

IoT is also set to revolutionize healthcare services. Medical application of Internet of Things is also referred to as IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) or healthcare IoT. IoMT is the collection of medical devices and applications that connect to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. Medical devices equipped with Wi-Fi allow the machine-to-machine communication that is the basis of IoMT. Medical devices and applications communicating with each other can significantly reduce human intervention and monitoring efforts. Remote patient

monitoring, smart drug infusion pumps that can send data to analytics dashboard, wearable fitness bands, and sensor equipped hospital beds are some of the applications of IoMT. The objective of IoMT is to enable medical devices to communicate with each other without human intervention. When the health condition of a patient that is monitored by an IoT system deteriorates below a threshold, the systems can alert healthcare professionals to intervene. With numerous connected and smart devices being deployed in homes, offices and public places, IoT is on its way to take the world by storm. However, widespread deployment of IoT devices and sensors has to overcome challenges like security, privacy, implementation, Inter-operability standard, connectivity, compatibility, etc. Security is the major concern in the IoT ecosystem and it is nothing like usual data breaches or hacking attacks where mostly information is at stack. Hacking of healthcare monitoring systems, drug infusion pumps, power grids, and home appliances can become a nightmare and bring all the smartness instantly down.

Implementation of IoT environment can be challenging when it comes to data collection from complex environments. It would require innovative thinking of how sensors should be able to sense the environment, collect data and communicate it to the cloud or with other devices. In the above example of a smart refrigerator, sensing the environment inside the refrigerator, different food items in different compartment, optimum temperature for different sections, or sensing items for replenished can be complex to implement.

Connectivity is another major challenge, current network is good until a limited number of IoT devices are connecting to it. But when the ecosystems grow large and the number grows to millions and then billions, current centralize network paradigm will fall insufficient. Decentralization of network and peer-to-peer communication will take over the current networking approach. New devices will put additional burdens on cloud servers and they will also require expansion, i.e. more investment. For example, deployment of connected self-driving cars and public conveyance in the future will generate a huge amount of data, this data has to be managed automatically and used in analytics and machine learning. And to make it possible, cloud servers should be able to process huge volume of data generated by millions of vehicles. On the other hand, IoT vehicles should be able to connect and communicate with other devices, which will be challenging in current network infrastructures.

Despite multiple challenges, security remains the biggest challenge to the IoT, as a hacking attempt can bring an entire system down. Millions of new devices joining an IoT network with traditional authentication methods pose a great security risk on already vulnerable systems. However, use of user biometrics for device authentication can be the solution.

Traditional methods like login / password for authentication on a smart node does not actually compliment the IoT technology, not to mention mediocre security offered by the method. When the objective is to achieve efficiency with IoT, traditional authentication methods become a bottleneck to it. Passwords can be forgotten, guessed or shared, compromising security and exposing the endpoint. It can also compromise security of other IoT devices if the same password is used. Combining password with an additional factor of authentication to achieve two factor authentication enhances security but eliminates convenience and user experience as well.

All these shortcomings of traditional authentication methods can be fixed by using bio metrics for Io T endpoint authentication. Bio metrics makes use of an individual’s physiological and behavioral characteristics like fingerprint patterns, iris patterns, vein pattern, etc., to identify the user. Since these characteristics are unique to an individual, they can be used as a secure method of authentication. Bio metric characteristics also do not change with time or age, nor are they easy to replicate or spoof. All these qualities give bio metrics an edge over traditional method of identification. Bio metrics eliminates shortcomings of passwords and offers a superior authentication solution.

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