Technology has brought about a convergence in the physical and digital world through increased connectivity. This has been made possible by the combined use of software, hardware, and the Internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform our living spaces and make science fiction appear real. The vast array of possibilities involving the use of IoT devices includes drone deliveries of online orders, surgeries conducted by robots, remote monitoring of devices, or driving driverless cars, among others.
With the raging pandemic restricting human interaction, enterprises are looking at innovative ways to deploy IoT-based solutions and garner superior user experiences. Statistically speaking, the number of IoT devices in the world has been put at a whopping 20 billion, which is likely to touch 43 billion by 2023, according to a McKinsey report. Since the implementation of smart cities shall be underpinned on the optimal performance of IoT devices, there needs to be a stringent implementation of IoT quality assurance.
What is the need for Testing IoT devices?
IoT connects a whole ecosystem with the internet. This ecosystem may comprise people, devices, processes, and data, and is geared to deliver superior user experiences. IoT aims at exploring new opportunities, delivering richer experiences, creating new capabilities, and achieving economic success. Since IoT is about the sharing of data and information in real-time, any performance-related issue in one part of the ecosystem can adversely impact the other as well.
Today, when cybercrime has raised its tentacles and poses severe challenges to enterprises, compromising one node of the IoT network can cripple other nodes as well. Moreover, should cybercriminals gain control of the IoT network they can cause data breaches or gain access to secured databases. It is only by observing a stringent IoT quality assurance that such networks can be checked for vulnerabilities and then validated by incorporating countermeasures to pre-empt cybercrime.
Factors driving the success of IoT applications
Since the IoT ecosystem is mostly fragmented into multiple platforms, networks, and devices, its smooth performance can be ensured by considering a few factors.
- Establish reliable connectivity of IoT devices with cloud, embedded sensors, and other elements
- Ensure the IoT network is compliant with global regulations and safety protocols
- The IoT network works seamlessly with other interconnected devices
- Data generated and transmitted through the IoT network should be secured against malware and other threat actors
Why IoT testing in a hyperconnected world?
In a hyperconnected world, people, devices, networks, and processes remain connected to achieve a unified experience for everyone. It is only by taking a robust IoT device testing approach that the following outcomes can be ensured:
- Compliance: The various devices forming part of the IoT ecosystem may come with different configurations and subject to different security or regulatory protocols like PCI DSS, ISO 27001, or HIPAA, among others. It is only by following a strict IoT testing methodology that devices present within the ecosystem can be made compliant with global regulations.
- Cybersecurity: IoT security testing identifies any inherent security vulnerabilities in the IoT network and safeguards it from malicious threat actors. The identified vulnerabilities or risks are then eliminated.
- Data integrity: Since the IoT network comprising multiple devices may contain (and transmit) sensitive business, personal, or financial data, it can be accessed by cybercriminals leading to data fudging. IoT quality assurance can identify the tell-tale signs of any cyber-attack and ensure the integrity of data.
- Performance: IoT devices should be able to carry massive data loads during high traffic volume. If the configuration and data transfer thresholds of such devices are not scaled, the performance of such devices is going to take a hit. The overwhelming of the IoT network can result in issues such as system crashes, latency, or downtime.
- Connectivity: The optimal performance of any IoT network can only be assured if the interconnection between devices, databases, embedded sensors, and the cloud is established and protected. And through IoT testing, any constraints in achieving such interconnection are addressed.
With increased automation and innovation, any IoT ecosystem is likely to deliver the expected outcomes. However, things can go south if attributes like compliance, compatibility, cost-effectiveness, and security are not managed beforehand by testing IoT aoolications. Moreover, in the Agile-DevOps setup where the testing period is shrinking and interdisciplinary collaboration increasing, IoT testing in the shift-left mold can lead to the early identification and fixing of flaws.