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The Internet of Things is one of the technologies making yesterday’s science fiction the reality of today. It will act as a force multiplier for digitization and can potentially transform the world into a smart one - smart cities, smart vehicles, smart manufacturing, smart homes, and many others. According to IDC, spending on IoT by businesses and other entities is going to reach $1 trillion in 2022. Further, out of the projected connected devices of 29 billion by 2022, around 18 billion are expected to be related to IoT. And the data generated by these devices will be to the tune of 73.1 zettabytes by 2025.

In other words, ignoring the penetration of IoT across domains and not investing in its vast sweep could be detrimental to the competitiveness of business enterprises in the future. Even though the IoT will continue on its upward trajectory in use cases and device numbers, enterprises should take into account the challenges related to interoperability and security. Let us discuss the top IoT predictions that IoT testing services, or for that matter, the CIOs of enterprises, should acknowledge and incorporate in their value chain.

Top IoT Forecasts for CIOs to Recognize

As a smart technology, the Internet of Things is going to change the landscape of the digital world. The top IoT forecasts for the years to come are mentioned below:

# AI-based IoT data analysis: With IoT being adopted as a frontline technology by most organizations, there will be a need to gather, store, process, and analyze huge amounts of data generated by it. This is where AI-based data analysis will take over from traditional analysis wherein data mined by IoT devices will be analyzed for known patterns to draw insights about various aspects of an organization. AI is going to be applied to a host of IoT-generated data in the form of still images, video, speech, text, and network traffic activities. This should drive the CIOs of business enterprises to implement the necessary skills and tools to leverage AI in their IoT testing approach.

# IoT with legal, social, and ethical dimensions: With the increased adoption of IoT across business segments, a wide range of social, ethical, and legal issues may come to the fore. These may include privacy, regulatory compliance, algorithmic bias, and ownership of data, among others. In fact, the success of any IoT solution should not be based on its technical prowess or effectiveness alone, but on social acceptability as well. Hence, CIOs should review their corporate strategy, IoT and AI systems, and key algorithms by external agencies for any potential bias. In doing so, they may include external IoT testing services to not only validate the technical aspects of such systems but their social, ethical, and legal dimensions as well.

# Data broking and infonomics: According to a Gartner survey, businesses are going to include the buying and selling of IoT data as an essential part of their strategy. As per the theory of infonomics, the monetization of IoT data will be treated as a strategic asset by businesses and included in their accounts. CIOs should educate their staff on the opportunities and risks pertaining to data broking and set the appropriate IT policies, including incorporating mandatory IoT testing in the value chain.

# Transition from Intelligent Edge to Intelligent Mesh: The transition from cloud to edge architectures in the IoT space is underway and is likely to give way to a more unstructured architecture in the form of a dynamic mesh. The mesh architectures will lead to more intelligent, responsive, and flexible IoT systems, but with additional complexities. As a result, CIOs must prepare their organisations for the impact of mesh architectures on IoT systems. Consequently, the focus of the Internet of Things QA testing should be to ensure every aspect of the IoT and mesh architecture performs as desired.

# IoT Governance: With the expansion of the IoT space, a proper setup for governance, including an IoT testing framework, should be instituted. This is to ensure appropriate behavior in the generation, storage, deletion, and usage of IoT-related data. IoT governance would entail device audits, control of devices, firmware updates, and the usage of information delivered, among others. CIOs must educate their organizations on issues related to IoT governance.

Conclusion 

The Internet of Things will continue to expand and play an important role for business enterprises in areas such as data mining, analysis, and management, decision-making, privacy, security, and others. CIOs must make their enteprises ready to leverage the opportunities offered by the IoT as well as set up proper architectures, including IoT security testing, to mitigate any associated risks.

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The Internet of Things is one of the technologies making yesterday’s science fiction the reality of today. It will act as a force multiplier for digitization and can potentially transform the world into a smart one - smart cities, smart vehicles, smart manufacturing, smart homes, and many others. According to IDC, spending on IoT by businesses and other entities is going to reach $1 trillion in 2022. Further, out of the projected connected devices of 29 billion by 2022, around 18 billion are expected to be related to IoT. And the data generated by these devices will be to the tune of 73.1 zettabytes by 2025.

In other words, ignoring the penetration of IoT across domains and not investing in its vast sweep could be detrimental to the competitiveness of business enterprises in the future. Even though the IoT will continue on its upward trajectory in use cases and device numbers, enterprises should take into account the challenges related to interoperability and security. Let us discuss the top IoT predictions that IoT testing services, or for that matter, the CIOs of enterprises, should acknowledge and incorporate in their value chain.

Top IoT Forecasts for CIOs to Recognize

As a smart technology, the Internet of Things is going to change the landscape of the digital world. The top IoT forecasts for the years to come are mentioned below:

# AI-based IoT data analysis: With IoT being adopted as a frontline technology by most organizations, there will be a need to gather, store, process, and analyze huge amounts of data generated by it. This is where AI-based data analysis will take over from traditional analysis wherein data mined by IoT devices will be analyzed for known patterns to draw insights about various aspects of an organization. AI is going to be applied to a host of IoT-generated data in the form of still images, video, speech, text, and network traffic activities. This should drive the CIOs of business enterprises to implement the necessary skills and tools to leverage AI in their IoT testing approach.

# IoT with legal, social, and ethical dimensions: With the increased adoption of IoT across business segments, a wide range of social, ethical, and legal issues may come to the fore. These may include privacy, regulatory compliance, algorithmic bias, and ownership of data, among others. In fact, the success of any IoT solution should not be based on its technical prowess or effectiveness alone, but on social acceptability as well. Hence, CIOs should review their corporate strategy, IoT and AI systems, and key algorithms by external agencies for any potential bias. In doing so, they may include external IoT testing services to not only validate the technical aspects of such systems but their social, ethical, and legal dimensions as well.

# Data broking and infonomics: According to a Gartner survey, businesses are going to include the buying and selling of IoT data as an essential part of their strategy. As per the theory of infonomics, the monetization of IoT data will be treated as a strategic asset by businesses and included in their accounts. CIOs should educate their staff on the opportunities and risks pertaining to data broking and set the appropriate IT policies, including incorporating mandatory IoT testing in the value chain.

# Transition from Intelligent Edge to Intelligent Mesh: The transition from cloud to edge architectures in the IoT space is underway and is likely to give way to a more unstructured architecture in the form of a dynamic mesh. The mesh architectures will lead to more intelligent, responsive, and flexible IoT systems, but with additional complexities. As a result, CIOs must prepare their organisations for the impact of mesh architectures on IoT systems. Consequently, the focus of the Internet of Things QA testing should be to ensure every aspect of the IoT and mesh architecture performs as desired.

# IoT Governance: With the expansion of the IoT space, a proper setup for governance, including an IoT testing framework, should be instituted. This is to ensure appropriate behavior in the generation, storage, deletion, and usage of IoT-related data. IoT governance would entail device audits, control of devices, firmware updates, and the usage of information delivered, among others. CIOs must educate their organizations on issues related to IoT governance.

Conclusion 

The Internet of Things will continue to expand and play an important role for business enterprises in areas such as data mining, analysis, and management, decision-making, privacy, security, and others. CIOs must make their enteprises ready to leverage the opportunities offered by the IoT as well as set up proper architectures, including IoT security testing, to mitigate any associated risks.

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Automation has become the buzzword these days, with business enterprises going about adopting newer technologies to be competitive and profitable. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is one such technology that has the potential to transform the way we perceive and act upon things - such as driving a car using smart IoT technology. The technology has been adopted on a large scale, especially in industrial applications, as a means to digitally transform processes and derive a host of benefits. These include reducing effort and cost, achieving speed, accuracy, higher productivity, and efficiency. The growing fascination for such devices is driving the market crazy with a valuation of $520 billion.  Furthermore, IoT technology is expected to receive up to $1 trillion in investments by 2022 (Source: research.aimultiple.com).

All said and done, the downside to the breakneck speed at which IoT is being adopted across the board is the neglect of security considerations. Business enterprises, in their zeal to adopt IoT technology to drive digital transformation, do not always give the security of such devices and the network on which they operate enough attention. This leaves these devices with vulnerabilities, which have the potential to be exploited by cybercriminals to cause data breaches with dire consequences for all stakeholders. Let us understand the IoT and how to strengthen its security.

Understanding IoT 

The Internet of Things comprises everyday devices that are interconnected through the internet or other wireless networks and can be controlled remotely. Everyday devices are fitted with sensors and microchips that can send or receive data over the internet. This creates the possibility of these devices being controlled remotely. The use of IoT in physical areas like homes, cars, offices, and even cities has a transformational effect in terms of turning them smart. For instance, your alarm clock can read the calendar and sets itself up to buzz at the right time.

Why is IoT security important? 

The world is poised to move into a “smart” ecosystem where automation, in all likelihood, is going to change our lives for the better. However, given that the internet or any wireless network is the carrier for IoT “signals”, cybercriminals can hack into the devices or networks and cause havoc. For instance, hackers can penetrate the IoT network of any company to cause system downtime or spy on homeowners to garner crucial information. Since billions of devices are connected to the IoT network, it is important to develop and comply with security standards to prevent tampering or breaches. Let us understand how IoT security testing can help in establishing such a secure ecosystem.

Protecting IoT devices and networks from cyber attacks

As companies develop new products with IoT capabilities, consumers are simply lapping them up. However, this increases the possibility of cyber-attacks on such devices. Let us understand how the Internet of Things QA testing for security can prevent such attacks.

IoT penetration testing: In this type of IoT testing methodology, the QA testers try to penetrate the IoT network and devices by exploiting the inherent vulnerabilities with full knowledge of the management. With IoT penetration testing, QA testers check the security of such devices and find out the vulnerabilities as they continue to operate in the real world. It helps stakeholders understand the types of vulnerabilities or glitches existing in the IoT system and how they can be exploited by real threat actors. After knowing the vulnerabilities through IoT security testing, the loopholes are plugged, thereby strengthening the security of the IoT system and making it virtually impregnable.

Threat modeling: This IoT testing approach helps determine the threat model for the IoT system and how it can be breached. For instance, if an IoT-enabled camera is installed to monitor a house or spy on people within a specific distance, it can be breached by a hacker to gain access to the images captured by the camera. With threat modeling, the vulnerability that allowed the hacker to gain access to the camera is eliminated.

Firmware analysis: Firmware is a type of software that is used in embedded devices like sensors to execute a dedicated function. It can be found on devices such as routers, smart appliances, or medical devices. As with any other software, firmware can contain vulnerabilities or bugs that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Firmware analysis is a type of IoT testing approach that looks for security issues such as buffer overflows, backdoors, and others.

Best practices to secure the IoT devices or systems

No matter how robust the security of IoT systems is, if the people operating the devices are not thorough with the security protocols, hackers can gain entry into the systems. The best practices to be followed to keep the IoT systems secure are listed below:

  • Change default credentials frequently and use strong passwords
  • Implement a VPN with strong encryption to transmit and store data
  • Perform IoT security testing frequently
  • Change default router settings
  • Disconnect devices when not in use
  • Do not use Universal Plug and Play
  • Update firmware regularly

Conclusion  

With the rapid growth of IoT systems, businesses should turn their focus to securing these devices from any unauthorized access. They should be thoroughly assessed to identify and mitigate any security vulnerabilities in the code. Even though IoT technology has the potential to transform our lives for the better, it is critical to understand that it can have security risks as well. It is only by implementing IoT device testing solutions in the value chain that businesses can ensure the protection of data from falling into the wrong hands.  

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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In the age of hyper-connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has provided countless innovators the opportunity to build software and hardware for different purposes — from medical smart devices and manufacturing to smart cities and homes. 

According to Statista, 15.9 billion connected devices will be connected worldwide by 2030. The global IoT spending will reach $1.1 trillion the same year. However, the growing number of IoT apps has also increased the amount spent by businesses to recall defective IoT devices.

You see, developing an IoT device is the only step towards ensuring its longevity. It is also essential to conduct proper QA testing to ensure the IoT software is strong enough to withstand security threats, performance malfunction, and connectivity issues. 

Your IoT device should work collaboratively and deliver value to the business as intended at the end of the day. In this article, we will discuss the definition, benefits, process, and types of IoT testing. But first, let us start with the basics: 

What is IoT testing? 

The general IoT network connectivity comprises four core layers, including the physical layer (sensors and controllers), network layer (gateways and communication units), data management layer (local or cloud services at the backend), and the application layer (software for user interaction). 

Since data is heavily transmitted from one object to another over the Internet in the ecosystem, it is vital to verify that your electronic devices can exchange sensitive information easily before the market launch and throughout their lifecycle. 

That is why all successful IoT businesses rely on automation, penetration, and performance testing tools to spot any defect in the IoT device before it reaches the hands of end customers.  

IoT testing is the practice of conducting QA tests to validate the performance, minimize security issues, and boost the functionality of an IoT device. It broadly revolves around device networks, operating systems, security, analytics, platforms, and standards. 

QA testers trace and associate software releases and cycles, test cases and scripts, look for defects, test executions, and gather other requirements. The complexity and variability of IoT testing make planning a crucial aspect of the process. 

The significant benefits of IoT testing 

QA engineers and developers can provide better  service offerings by employing IoT automation testing in their general practices with the right plan and purpose in place. These are the benefits that they can plan to see with IoT testing: 

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1. Faster time-to-market 

IoT testing ensures that businesses can launch their safe and approved IoT products in the market by leveraging automation. 

2. Business future-proofing 

IoT testing offers an integrated approach for validating IoT platforms' practical and non-functional testing requirements. The practice future-proofs the business by enabling higher interoperability and security with performance testing tools. In the end, you can deliver safer solutions and, therefore, be a better prospect for consumers. 

3. New business opportunities 

Testing the IoT solutions speeds up innovation with less risk and without delaying the response time or using too many resources. With set testing processes, businesses can experiment much more freely with IoT products in the market with minimal human intervention. 

IoT testing framework 

Given the complexity of IoT solutions, check all layers separately, verify the entire system's operation, and determine the interoperability level of several layers. Please refer to a robust testing framework to ensure the testing is done properly across all software versions. Some fundamental features that should be a part of the framework are listed below: 

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1. Performance testing 

It is essential to strategically approach the development and implementation of an IoT testing plan. That is why measure the IoT app's performance metrics such as throughput, CPU utilization, latency, and so on. Validate the stability of the entire app's functioning under changing operational and network conditions such as intermittent failures. 

2. Security testing 

Testing how safe and secure an IoT app functions is paramount. After all, many users access a massive amount of data all the time. You must, therefore, have data privacy controls and validate users via authentication as a part of your security testing processes. 

3. Compatibility testing 

Multiple devices are connected in a typical IoT ecosystem with different software and hardware configurations. Please ensure your IoT product is highly compatible with different tools and platforms for its smooth functioning. 

Use data recorders, for instance, to check out how the recorded data plays across different device end-points automatically and freely. 

4. Device interoperability 

IoT testing ensures that the end customers have a state-of-the-art user experience across multiple channels such as web apps and mobile devices. 

Visualize the required use cases and arrange the testing process. For instance, all layers should be checked for security and functioning separately. Then deploy APIs to review the application and data management layers. Test the physical and network layers for compatibility. 

Seven types of testing tools 

To execute a wide range of IoT tests at the staging phase, use the right automation, visualization, simulation, and measurement tools. Here are the different IoT testing tools that can make a ton of difference to how you approach the process: 

1. Device or protocol simulators 

As the name suggests, these IoT testing tools are often simulated in large numbers and configured to map the required real-time scenarios. The simulators are standards-compliant and support numerous IoT protocols in format testing processes. 

2. Record and playback test automation tools 

These tools are multi-purpose as QA testing teams find them useful in many test scenarios. The assessment involves recording a user's actions and matching objects behind the scenes to identify which units of code are routinely used and how. In this type of testing, a coded test script file is generated, which the QA engineers replay as is. 

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3. Mobile testing tools 

These IoT testing tools offer automated functional mobile testing, replicating customer experience and ensuring the IoT app works as expected. 

4. API testing tools 

Integrate an automated API testing tool with your continuous integration pipeline for improving your IoT app's codebase quality. Detect bugs early on in the IoT app development lifecycle with end-user application testing. 

5. Visualization tools 

The real-time validation of the IoT application is difficult and time-consuming. Introducing IoT data visualization tools can help finish the development process faster with minimal dependence in the real-time environment. 

That is because they initiate the cost-friendly and timely execution of compatibility tests without making any hefty investments in the hardware, browsers, platform services, operating systems, and so on. 

6. Automated deployment tools 

Automation testing tools help create virtual machines on the cloud or on-premise for rapidly commissioning managed services and configuring and deploying customized applications and services. Improve speed, productivity, and effectiveness of quality over execution. 

7. Security testing tools 

These can be categorized as static code analysis, threat modeling, and run-time threat-inducing. Unearth vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and offer recommendations on how to fix them with the help of security testing tools. 

The ultimate IoT testing process 

An IoT setup deploys various software testing approaches that are slightly different from the regular QA practices for validating IoT apps. Here is what a typical IoT testing process looks like: 

1. Lay the groundwork with the help of QA engineers 

Assign a QA testing team while the specifications for the IoT application are being decided. Having them on board at the beginning will help them choose how often the IoT development team will need to collaborate with the QA engineers to prioritize relevant test cases, enable regressing testing, and efficiently manage defects. 

They will also confirm the IoT testing risks and design an overall risk mitigation plan for your IoT app development project. Taking the QA team's help ensures proper test automation frameworks and configuration to address quality issues and whatnot. 

2. Prepare for IoT app testing 

Even when the QA team has designed a comprehensive testing strategy, they are still required to regularly revise and update the test artifacts. It would help if you also had a balanced combination of manual and automated testing to make sure the IoT app is error-free and to avoid data- and time-intensive repetitive test cases execution. 

Prepare for conducting different types of testing, including conducting usability testing, simulating sensors, verifying data integrity, determining the end-to-end workflows of the entire IoT application, and flawless communication between various IoT app components with their tech stack compatibility. 

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3. Select a vendor for outsourced IoT testing 

If you do not wish to carry out the function in-house, consider outsourcing as it proves to be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time staff. Plus, you have access to a greater talent pool and technological expertise. IoT testing becomes hassle-free. To select a fitting vendor of automation testing tools, please do the following: 

  • Shortlist vendors with successful IoT testing projects in your sector. 
  • Create a comprehensive request for proposal which includes your IoT solution's specific requirements. 
  • Consider their existing tech stack and human resources, so you do not get stuck in the middle of running tests. 
  • Understand their approach to an IoT testing strategy, testing toolkit, the planned test automation, and so on. 

4. Launch your IoT tests 

Once you have figured out your resources, it is time to design test cases and build test scripts. Check the end-to-end functioning of the IoT product by creating an IoT test lab with the help of service visualization tools. These labs serve as the digital portfolio for experimenting and simulating real-time experiences that fuel more innovative automation testing tools. 

Over to you 

IoT solutions can be challenging to develop, manage and test given the multiple components and interactions between them. It is, therefore, necessary to monitor the performance of the app more closely with automation testing tools. A thorough testing process ensures a quality IoT product and high customer satisfaction. So, how do you plan to get started with IoT testing?

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Introduction   

Over the years, there has been an extensive shift of digitalization that has called for new concepts and new technologies. Especially when it comes to improving human life and reducing effort in routine tasks, one thing that has gained immense popularity is the very idea of IoT.   

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects (vehicles, devices, buildings, and other items) embedded with software sensors, electronics, and network connectivity to collect and exchange data. It is the network of those inter-connected objects or smart devices that can exchange information using a method of agreement and data schema.    

According to Statista, the total installed base of IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices worldwide estimated to reach 30.9 billion units by 2025, a significant increase from the 13.8 billion units anticipated in 2021.    

Common Challenges in IoT    

Do you know how IoT works? Well, IoT devices are capable of providing automated facilities because they have inbuilt sensors and mini-computer processors, in which sensors collect the data with the help of machine learning. But unfortunately, these devices are connected to the internet and are more vulnerable to hacking and malware.    

Nevertheless, we are living in the digital world where your car will soon be a better driver than you, and your smart security systems will provide:  

  • Better protection to your residence,   
  • Your Industries,   
  • and your commercial places against damage and theft.  

Your smart refrigerators will better communicate with the internet. It will be more responsible for ordering your grocery items. All these miracles can happen with automation and the advancements of embedded systems into the Internet of Things.    

However, improving the performance and quality of such systems is a significant challenge because IoT devices generate a large variety and volume of data that are difficult to test if the IoT testing service provider that you’ve hired for testing doesn’t have the best resources, tools, test environments, and test methods to ensure the quality, performance, speed, and scalability of such systems. Consequently, IoT testing services are the key to ensuring flawless performance and functionality of your IoT systems.   

As long as it comes to testing of IoT devices, organizations face severe challenges that you can discover below:   

Testing Across Several Cloud IoT Platforms    

Every IoT device has its own hardware, and this device is dependent on software to operate it. When it comes to integration, IoT devices require application software to run commands to the devices and analyze data collected by the devices. Also, each device comes with different operating systems, versions, firmware, hardware, and software, which may not be possible to test with various combinations of devices.    

Before conducting testing on IoT devices, one needs to collect information from the end-users about which software they’re using to run the IoT devices. One of the most widely used cloud IoT platforms that assist in connecting different components of the IoT value chain is IBM Watson, Azure IoT, and AWS, among others. To run IoT devices across all cloud IoT platforms, it is necessary to consider the experienced IoT testing service provider or experts from the software testing company, mainly those who are well-versed in the testing of cloud IoT platforms and can ensure their practical usability.    

One should know about an IoT environment and understand how devices generate data with a wide variety, velocity, and veracity. Make sure IoT devices produce the data into a structured or unstructured form and then send the enormous amounts of data to the cloud. If you plan to get IoT testing services, you need to test your IoT application across various platforms. Testing should be performed in a real-time environment. If the device often introduces firmware updates or new version upgrades, it is crucial to perform specific testing by keeping all such factors in mind.    

Data Security Threats    

The volume of data gathered and communicated by connected devices is enormous. The higher amount of data generated by devices, the higher number of data leaks or any other risks your system can experience from outside entries.    

Testing of IoT devices is vital from the best IoT testing service provider. Otherwise, your IoT device can become vulnerable to security threats. With QA experts or IoT testing services, you can quickly identify security bottlenecks from the system and address them early as possible.    

When performing IoT testing, it is necessary to test credentials, passwords, and data interface to ensure that there are no risks for security breaches. Today, IoT engineers implement layered security, and with this process, they can get multiple levels of protection for the system and prevent the system from potential attacks or data leaks.  

 Too Many IoT Communication Protocols    

Nowadays, IoT devices use several distinct communication protocols from Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), and common Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to interact with controllers and with each other.    

But the most popular protocol that ensures the IoT device will communicate and perform well even in high latency and low bandwidth situations is MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT).  

However, due to the popularity of MQTT, it is crucial to ensure the security of this protocol as it is open to attacks and doesn’t provide excellent protection beyond the Transmission Control Protocol layer. Therefore, one should hire a diligent IoT testing service provider to assure that testing will perform rigorously. In addition, it ensures that the communication between controllers and disparate devices will happen more reliably and safely.    

Lack of Standardization    

Due to the increasing number of connected devices, it becomes imperative to improve the standardization of an IoT system in different levels: platforms, standard business models, connectivity, and application.    

Standardization for each IoT device should be uniformed while testing. Otherwise, your users can face severe problems at the time of connecting IoT devices with different systems.    

For this, the IoT testing service provider should have detailed expertise in performing connected device testing based on the intended use or use case of the system. Also, there should be a uniform standardization for all levels of IoT systems before providing quality-based IoT products to end-users.    

Conclusion    

IoT testing approach can vary based on the architecture or system involved. Therefore, businesses should focus more on reliable IoT testing services and allow testers to focus more on the Test-As-a-User (TAAS) approach instead of testing based on the requirements.   

Always choose the trustworthy IoT testing service provider for integration testing of IoT systems. One should have a comprehensive strategy to discover the bugs in the system through integration testing.   

Numerous challenges occur while implementing IoT testing, but it is an exciting job if the testing service provider is ready to offer you end-to-end functional and non-functional validation services for different implementations.    

The company should be certified to test IoT connected devices with a complicated mesh of devices, hardware, protocols, operating systems, firmware, etc. In addition, they should have industry best practices with IoT testing tools to address challenges that you face every day while using IoT systems.    

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IoT security testing should comprise activities like checking for endpoints, authentication, encryption, firewalls, and compliance requirements. The testing helps the IoT ecosystem to function safely and prevent incidences of a data breach.

The Internet of Things or IoT has swept the realm of technology and become mainstream as far as automation is concerned. Its popularity is attributable to features such as communication between machines, easy usage, and the integration of various devices, enabling technologies, and protocols.

When one talks about smart cities, smart transport, smart healthcare, or smart homes, the role of IoT is paramount.  According to Gartner, the number of connected things courtesy IoT is projected to reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Since IoT is about connected products that communicate with each other and share a huge volume of data, it is vulnerable to security breaches. With greater digitization and a rush towards delivering smart devices to add more comfort to people’s lives, businesses may end up keeping their flanks uncovered. The threats related to cybersecurity, besides threatening the smooth functioning of the digital ecosystem, are putting a question mark on the implementation of the IoT ecosystem.

The future is likely to be driven by smart systems with IoT at their core. Since such systems will witness a huge exchange of data, their security needs to be ensured. Also, as the smooth functioning of such smart systems will hinge on the accuracy and integrity of data, enabling IoT security at every step of the way should be the norm. If statistics are to be believed then around 84% of companies adopting IoT have reported security breaches of some kind (Source: Stoodnt.com.) The resident vulnerabilities in such systems are exploited by cybercriminals to exhibit malicious behavior such as committing credit card theft, phishing and spamming, distributed denial of service attacks, and malware distribution, among others.

How to conduct IoT security testing effectively

The security implications of a vulnerable or broken IoT system can be catastrophic for individuals, businesses, and entities. The devices and the transfer of data within them should be monitored by the implementing agency to check for a data breach. The best ways to conduct IoT security is as follow:

  • Checking of endpoints: As more devices or endpoints are added to expand the network, more vulnerabilities are created. Since IoT systems are built using devices of different configurations, computing and storage power, and running on different versions and types of operating systems, every such device should be evaluated for safety. An inventory of such devices should be made and tracked.
  • Authentication: Care should be taken that the vendor-supplied default passwords for specific systems should be dealt with at the beginning. If not, these can be exploited by hackers to take control of the IoT ecosystem and wreak havoc. Moreover, every device in the IoT system should be authenticated before being plugged into the network. This should be made an integral part of the internet of things testing.
  • Firewalls: The firewall present in the network should be tested for its capability of filtering specific data range and controlling traffic. Also, data aimed at terminating the device to ensure its optimal performance should be tested.
  • Encryption: Since IoT systems transmit data among themselves they should be encrypted for safety. During testing IoT applications the encryption approach and nitty-gritty should be thoroughly checked and validated. If not, then while relaying the location of assets in the IoT system, the information can be easily read by a hacker.
  • Compliance: Mere testing of IoT devices is not complete unless compliance with standards like FCC and ETSI/CE is carried out. These regulations and standards have been instituted to validate the performance of the IoT devices based on certain parameters. So, any IoT testing approach should take into account compliance with such regulations.

Why IoT systems should undergo security testing?

The smart devices forming part of the IoT system need to undergo IoT testing (security) to:

  • Prevent data theft: The unsecured endpoints within the system can leave a trail for hackers to strike but for the IoT device testing solutions. The vulnerabilities can be used to break into the controlling mechanism of the system in order to launch more malicious forms of attacks.
  • Protect brand equity: When scores of companies are competing with each other to get a pie of the IoT market, a security breach or malware attack can put a brand in jeopardy. With IoT penetration testing, such attacks can be pre-empted with the elimination of vulnerabilities and glitches.

Conclusion

The IoT ecosystem is projected to grow at a humongous pace and scale. Technology companies having an integrated IoT security testing approach are likely to earn a huge chunk of the pie. The approach when executed at regular intervals should be able to help enterprises achieve growth across domains.

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