To implement a wide range of tasks in the IoT, many different technologies and protocols need to work together. Access networks must provide the required values of information transfer in terms of delay, bandwidth, and security. Network gateways allow users or automated systems to network with IoT infrastructure endpoints through a supported communication standard. In this article, we’ll talk about IoT gateways and why organizations need to hire IoT hardware developer to optimize them.
What Is the Role of IoT Gateways?
While building sophisticated hardware designs for the Internet of Things, many have tried to take advantage of existing server technologies, and most importantly, cloud services. However, if you take a closer look, for example, at the procedure for sending the readings of a sensor from a board with low power consumption, it becomes obvious that an additional hardware link must be included in the device-server interaction scheme, which provides reliable and cost-effective communication of IoT devices with the outside world. In the Internet of Things, a gateway is network equipment that performs many functions, such as connecting dozens of sensors or smart devices. In this case, the hardware configuration of the gateway can be selected taking into account the task set for the project.
How Does an IoT Gateway Work?
There are gateways with processors with one to four cores. They are equipped with appropriate volumes of RAM and permanent memory. In addition, these gateways are adapted for a variety of industrial and commercial applications.
An IoT developer uses a gateway for an aggregator to group together multiple devices and send its data to a gateway using a dedicated network. This allows connecting about a dozen sensors to them. Several of these boards may be required to communicate with all the required sensors. At the same time, although with their use it is quite possible to organize direct sending of data to the cloud, the peculiarities of the placement of parts of the system can significantly complicate this task. If communication with individual boards is organized using a gateway, it will allow, for example, transmitting data collected from them over long distances, which solves problems related to the distance to sensors and their spatial location. As a result, it allows you to create solutions that are very difficult or impossible to create without using a gateway.
In addition, you can connect sensors directly to the gateway. Most gateways are capable of handling about a dozen independent sensors. Many gateways support several working Wi-Fi networks at once, which allows them to interact with sensors that can transmit data over such networks.
There are several reasons for having a gateway in an IoT solution:
- If backend receives raw information, this will increase its power, and the costs will be very high.
- Backend operation cannot guarantee a real-time response for a large number of peripherals.
- Due to security restrictions, some information cannot be sent to the Backend and cannot be continuously monitored manually. Such information includes data from street cameras, medical information, etc.
Why Do Organizations Need to Optimize IoT Gateway?
As homes, cars, offices, refrigerators, and coffee makers become smarter, there is a growing need for developers to ensure that these devices work properly and securely. The term “IoT developer” is widely interpreted today. In the field of the Internet of Things in general, there are a number of important disciplines, including security, networking, systems engineering, cloud programming, and programming of hardware devices. Therefore, it makes sense to strive for maximum versatility to be flexible and take on different roles in the development team.
Security of IoT is really important to be aware about. In a moment, when IoT devices form a single network with other devices and connect to the Internet, their security becomes a problem. If not to control a security it can become the main obstacle to the spread of the IoT. This can be explained by a lot of data about the usual life of its users that IoT devices have access to. IoT coders must apply new rules of data protection and to occupy themselves with self-education in this area. Security is not only about data protection, but also about responsible attitude to private information and data ethics. All this should be taken into account when developing applications for IoT.
How to Secure an IoT Gateway?
This is not only about data protection. Physical devices should also be protected. In particular, Wind River from Intel is designed to protect devices from internal or external unauthorized access. At the same time, in the field of data protection, encryption and secure exchange of information with external systems are available here. To protect data transmission channels and software applications, IoT developers use modern cryptographic methods against information leaks:
- symmetric (DES, AES, Twofish, Blowfish, IDEA, RC4, etc.) and asymmetric (RSA and Elgamal) algorithms
- electronic signature (EDS)
- hash functions (SHA-1, SHA-2, MD4, MD5, MD6)
- key management
- quantum cryptography
The concept of the Internet of Things was invented a long time ago. The list of tasks solved by electronic devices is long and growing. Countless service providers, diverse platforms, and millions of new devices emerge each year. IoT hardware developers can help set up internal work processes and successfully manage the system. Security of IoT gateway plays a crucial role in future development of IoT, thus organizations should work on it optimization.