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Wireless communications have allowed for the transmission and exchange of data between devices and individuals who are widely spread over a given geographical area. Mobile devices and wireless discussions have led to the advent of ubiquitous computing whereby computing device can be located anywhere and at any time. Networks such as the internet facility for seamless exchange of data between devices in real time despite geographical differences.
Wireless communication affords the flexibility of deploying the science application. The devices may be placed in areas where they can collect data and transmit it in real time without the need to be physically connected to the central data collection and processing center or device. The wireless sensors and methods may be placed at elaborate areas whereby they are optimally positioned to collect the required data.
Despite the advantages, wireless communications present challenges to the efficient transmission of the devices. Wireless communications are more susceptible to attacks and data breaches as compared to wired connections. Physical objects such as buildings may impair the interface between the devices. Wireless communication is also known to degrade more in signal quality as strength with increase in distance as compared to a wired connection.
Advantages of Using Wireless Devices
The most significant benefit of using wireless devices is the flexibility they afford the system. With wireless devices, one may be able to measure and observe various phenomena better. For instance, a humidity sensor and or camera may be fitted on an unmanned aerial vehicle may be able to record data and transmit data better and more efficiently as compared to a fixed mast, it is also noteworthy that such a setup is likely to be prov9de more representative data than fixed position sensors.
Wireless communication protocols are significantly faster as compared to conventional wiring. Therefore, wireless devices may be better positioned to provide real-time data as opposed to connected sensors. Wireless sensors are also bound to be more compatible with a broader range of other devices making connectivity more accessible and more cost-effective as opposed to devices that are connected. For instance, the wireless devices may be more compatible with a given cloud service as opposed to a connected system that would have to have the data routed through a broadcast channel.
Fewer components are needed when building a wireless system as opposed to a wired system. A wireless network is likely to be cheaper to maintain and operate over a given period as opposed to a connected mode while performing similar tasks. A wireless system also has fewer points of failure and is likely to be more reliable as compared to wired sensors. A system with more components is also expected to be complicated and difficult to troubleshoot as compared to a system with fewer parts.
Disadvantages of Wireless Sensor Based System
It was established that different internet of things devices could be compromised and used, either to harm the individual user or any given organisation. Malicious entities were found to have hacked into the different Internet of things devices to either gain data from the affected user or to bring into disrepute the associated manufacturer or organisation. Internet of stuff related devices was also found to have been compromised and used to compromise other systems, for instance, thirty-five percent of methods used in denial of service attacks over the last three-quarters were the internet of things related devices, marking a one hundred percent increase from previous quarters.
In an Internet of Things Cyber security research, it was found that minimal security features had been incorporated into devices used on the internet of things. Despite the increase in sophistication and functionality, devices such as connected thermostats employed necessary security protocols (Aycock 73). Essential security features that are easy to bypass and compromise were the leading factor to the rapid increase in cyber security threats against connected home appliances. It was found that manufacturers of the devices did not priorities incorporating advanced security features into the machines. 56% of the devices in the research study were found to be easy to compromise and manipulate.
Despite the research being able to come up with the reasons behind the increasing cyber security incidents involving connected home appliances, the study did not provide a clear picture of the effects of the attacks including the devices (Higgins 96). The value of the data compromised during a raid of such devices was not elaborated to give a comparison to offences such as identity theft. It was also not developed if the means employed in orchestrating attacks on the internet of things devices are similar or different to conventional cyber-attacks.
The research effort applied various methods to come up with the data and information presented. The primary purpose used was a useful observation. Simulated attacks on a sample of the interconnected devices and their reactions provided a real-world picture of how various cyber-attacks would be carried out and how the tools would respond (Higgins 146). The simulated cyber-attacks also offered insight into the different vulnerabilities and how they could be exploited by the malicious entities. Data collected from this exercise was realistic and representative of a real-life scenario.
The results from both experiments were similar. The interconnected devices were easily compromised and could be used to compromise data or other systems. Regardless of the underlying architecture and manufacturer, both set up exhibited the ease with which such devices may be compromised and be used to carry out further attacks, such as denial of service attacks (Theodoridis).In both cases, the methods could be easily directed to perform numerous requests to the local file server. This explains the increased use of interconnected home appliances to conduct the brute force and denial of service attacks. It is noteworthy that the Intel-based devices were marginally more robust as compared to the AMD based devices.
It is therefore evident that the interconnected devices as currently produced and designed are highly vulnerable to attacks (Higgins 150). Individuals using such methods are consequently at risk of having their tools and confidential information compromised and or their devices used in coordinating and carrying out cyber security attacks. Cyber security has been one of the fundamental drawbacks of the adoption and widespread use.
It is essential that Wireless sensor-based system incorporates various security measures to ensure that data being transmitted is secure (Aycock 89). It is also necessary that the tools are safe such that they may not be used to coordinate attacks such as denial of service attacks on other internet-based services.
- Aycock, John. Computer Viruses and Malware. New York: Springer, 2012. Print.
- Higgins, Melissa. Cybersecurity. 2nd. Minneapolis: Abdo Publishing, 2016. Print.
- Theodoridis, Sergios. Machine Learning. New York: Elsevier Science, 2015. Document.