The world around us today is the world of IoT. Smart IoT devices are flourishing in the global market and all thanks to their smart automation and control techniques. As per research, there are over 30 billion IoT devices that will be deployed by the end of 2020!
However, with the increase in the usage of IoT devices, the data produced by them must be stored securely. Why? We all know that cybersecurity issues have been increasing day-by-day. Although the use of encryption methodology, and multi-factor authentication lowers the chances of data breaches in the IoT sector, they are not sufficient enough to eliminate the issues.
As per the leading IoT agency IEEE, the marketers should handle the IoT security at the network level rather than the device level! They further say that the process of authentication and access controls must be upped. Instead, new security frameworks for IoT based on edge computing must be included in the new IoT management.
So, what exactly is this edge computing in IoT? Why is cloud computing incapable and how IoT and edge computing works together? If you have questions like these in your mind, then you are at the right place!
In today’s article we will be discussing all about edge computing and how it secures the IoT. So, without wasting any further time, let’s start our article!
Why is Cloud Computing not Beneficial for IoT Applications?
While we talk about edge computing and IoT, there are many questions about cloud computing and its effectiveness in securing IoT devices. So, let;’s see why cloud computing is not a perfect solution for securing IoT!
While cloud computing handles almost 83% of the enterprises’ workload, it is not that effective when it comes to IoT. Why? That’s because cloud networks have some drawbacks. Here we have mentioned the top three issues of cloud computing in IoT!
The first and foremost factor that limits the use of cloud computing in securing IoT is the data breaches problem. Data between the IoT device and cloud is continuously transferred and as such there is a high risk of privacy violation and data theft!
As you scale your business and IoT applications, more data is being produced, and all of them might not be very useful after a certain time. But to initially store that data, you have to spend a bit extra which makes cloud computing more expensive than edge computing.
It is no surprise that the actual data processing in the IoT applications takes place from the smart devices. The device needs to have real-time data to actually automate the tasks. Yet, with cloud computing, the data exchange relays on the distance between the device and the server location. That somehow makes the data fetching process slower and the performance poorer.
Now, because of more issues like these, many leading businesses are shifting towards a more reliable and cost-effective system calle edge computing. So, what is edge computing in IoT and how it works? Let’s quickly have a look at it!
What Is Edge Computing?
To put it simply, edge computing is a technical term that refers to the storage of data near the point where it is generated. That means, instead of handling and storing the data to a remote location, the data is managed at a local point, to be more precise, near the edge of the IoT networks.
So, how edge computing works?
Let’s try to understand the functioning of edge computing in Iot by the following example!
Suppose, you are driving a vehicle and it is equipped with the smart IoT sensors. Now, generally when you want to apply brakes or turn on the music, then you can do so with a single touch on your IoT application or even with your voice commands. The cloud server sends the request to the device after receiving the input from the IoT application. This process usually takes less than a second!
However, at times, there may be conditions where because of other network issues, or large distance between server and application, the data is not processed on time. Such a situation becomes more problematic when you want to initiate any urgent operation like stopping your smart vehicle. That’s where the concept of edge computing comes to play!
With edge computing, you do not have to worry about slow internet connection and delay in data transfer as the processing of data will take place where the data is produced. That means, IoT will not depend on internet connectivity and can even function as a standalone network node.
Now that you are aware of the term edge computing, let us discuss the benefits that it provides to the IoT sector!
How Edge Computing Helps Secure the Iot?
Although there are many benefits that edge computing offers to IoT, here we have mentioned the top five of them that are making IoT way more secure and fast than ever!
1. Better Data Protection
So, the first and foremost benefit of edge computing in IoT is better data protection. As you know that in cloud computing, there was constant transfer of data between the remote server and the IoT device. However, that condition is completely eliminated by the edge computing networks.
As in edge computing, the data is analyzed and managed at the point where it is being generated, hence, chances are minimal that it can be stolen by any hacker. Furthermore, as sensitive information is not sent to the server, thus the cost of storing is also reduced significantly.
2. Reliable Performance
Performance is the most crucial aspect of IoT applications. For instance, when you have to process the real-time data quite instantly, then cloud computing fails because of internet dependency and network errors.
With edge computing in IoT, that problem is also resolved much easily. As the data is processed at the exact point and time, the device also gets instant instructions, and thus your tasks get completed in no time.
That functionality of edge computing in IoT is also beneficial where instant results are needed such as stopping a machine movement or applying brakes to your smart car.
3. Less Operational Costs
As discussed earlier, edge computing in IoT is very beneficial not only for data security purposes, but also for the less operational costs. As with edge computing, the data is processed near the point where it is generated. Hence, less data is sent to the server for storage, and less is the cost you have to pay.
All in all, the total storage infrastructure cost will significantly reduce once you integrate edge computing in IoT!
4. More Flexibility and Scalability
With edge computing in IoT, you could seamlessly scale up your IoT applications. The data in edge computing is locally processed and that makes the applications work faster and with efficiency.
Additionally, because of the independence of the internet connectivity, industries like logistics and transportation, retail, energy, and even healthcare benefits the most! Also, less load is placed on the server as less data is there for storage.
5. Improved Business Efficiency
As the edge computing technique helps the IoT devices to send fewer data to storage networks, the overall efficiency of the IoT applications increases significantly. The instant data processing at the generation point also helps the devices to take immediate actions and all your tasks are completed on time and with accuracy.
Additionally, edge computing in IoT even allows the applications to become independent of the internet connection and server. Hence, even at the remote locations and low internet connectivity, you rIoT applications could work as efficiently as in the normal conditions.
6. Better Communication Channels
Last but not least, edge computing in IoT also offers more feasibility in communication. As the edge computing is way more efficient than a centralized cloud computing model, hence the data exchange is more streamlined and smooth!
Furthermore, with edge computing, if there is any error or fault in any of the resources, then it even offers more branches for better communications and data exchange process!
Top 3 Use-Cases of Edge Computing in IoT
After carefully evaluating all the benefits of edge computing in IoT, here we have the top three use cases of IoT edge computing.
1. Self-driven Vehicles
The first and most successful use-case of edge computing in Iot is autonomous vehicles.
As we all know that smart vehicles need more instant actions and control options than other IoT applications. Hence, at that time, you cannot rely on remote servers or internet connectivity.
For instance, if you need to apply brakes instantly, or want to stop your machine from making any further movements, then at that time, faster actions are needed and that could only be possible with edge computing networks. The data generated by the car is instantly processed at the point of generation, and hence, the operation could be achieved more seamlessly.
Also, the vehicles could communicate more effectively with each other as they don’t have to send the data to the remote server for processing. Conditions like traffic delays, thefts, weather conditions, etc. could also be shared without any problems with edge computing in IoT.
2. Smart Healthcare Devices
Healthcare sector is also one of the most prominent use-cases of edge computing in IoT. By using edge computing in telemedicine apps, health monitoring systems, and even wearable devices, you can become a real life-saver person.
It is no surprise that real-time data is very much needed to treat the patients more fastly and efficiently. Hence, with edge computing, you can seamlessly monitor and analyze the heart rate, blood pressure, and many more aspects to instantly treat the patients with the right medications.
Additionally, with robotechnology, the need for real-time data at the exact also increases. Hence, with edge computing, the data can be processed at the moment it is generated, and the lives of the patients can be saved more readily.
3. IoT-enabled Security Solutions
Last but not least, enhanced security is the top-most use-case of the edge computing in IoT.we all know that any security system should respond to the incoming security threats within seconds, or else, the data breach could cost you great!
Hence with edge computing networks, the security applications could monitor and process the information and threats in no time while securing the place. Best examples of such types of security systems are cameras, important data files, and so on.
Edge computing – the future of IoT solutions
So, those were some of the benefits of edge computing in IoT. we saw how edge computing secures the IoT applications from data thefts and hacking situations. We also discussed many applications and use-cases of edge computing in IoT. Thus, to conclude, we can say that edge computing is the secure future of the IoT sector.
From autonomous vehicles to smart home automation appliances, edge computing is all set to transform and secure all the IoT applications and make them more effective. In fact, as per research, almost 72% of the business data will be processed by edge computing networks by the end of 2022. As a result, the market for edge computing will surpass $13 billion worldwide by the year 2022.
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