The Internet of (Risky) Things

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representing the internet of things

While branding terms such as ‘intelligent’ or ‘smart’ are currently ubiquitous, the technology behind many of these new products is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Such a novel technology is complex and confusing, for even the most qualified people in this field, let alone unspecialized ones. To this end, we will publish a series of articles about IoT to provide a complete overview of this exciting cutting-edge technology.

The beginnings

In 1999, the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) came into existence as a result of three emerging technologies;

● Radio Frequency Identification (RFID),
● Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), and
● Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M).

The seamless integration of physical-world objects into a digital one using already-existing technologies or infrastructures (e.g, routers, gateways, and switches) without human intervention is the ultimate objective of IoT.

What makes the IoT different

IoT objects are equipped with limited resources in terms of computational power, memory capacity, energy consumption, or bandwidth.

IoT objects, therefore, require different protocols, such as operating systems, networks, web servers, and protection measures. Under such limitations or constraints, IoT objects include temperature sensors, smartphones, air conditioning, medical equipment, light bulbs, smart grid, thermostats, and TVs. Having communicated directly without human interference, IoT objects are designed not only to fulfill their shared objectives or tasks and harmonize their decisions autonomously but also to track and monitor their environments.

IoT Applications

Various IoT systems – armed with actuators, sensors, and connectivity protocols – have been used in several sectors to provide unprecedented value for developers, governments, researchers, and companies. It is because of this emerging IoT technology that endless services and applications around us are becoming bigger and bigger.

Smart light switches, smartphones, smart cities, smart homes, and Smart Locks, for instance, are IoT applications built specifically to make our life not only easier but also more productive.

Smart homes can, for example, use sensors to reduce energy costs by detecting how many people are in each room. The temperature can be regulated automatically, for example, if a sensor detects a conference room is full of people, it turns the air conditioner on or it turns it down when everyone is left.

IoT challenges

However, the above applications have faced many challenges in terms of security, privacy, standards, and most importantly common requirements to select appropriate IoT protocols.

If such challenges are not properly addressed, the growth, as well as the existence of the IoT, will be in great danger. According to many studies, IoT objects are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks compared to traditional objects for many reasons. The next article will address these challenges in detail.

Further Reading:

A Chinese perception of “IOT” by 


Hezam, A.A.; Konstantas, D.; Nijdam, N. A Novel Methodology for Securing IoT Objects Based on their Security Level Certificates. Preprints 2020, 2020040362 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0362.v1).

Abdul-Ghani, H.A.; Konstantas, D. A Comprehensive Study of Security and Privacy Guidelines, Threats, and Countermeasures: An IoT Perspective. J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2019, 8, 22.

Abdulghani, H.A.; Nijdam, N.A.; Collen, A.; Konstantas, D. A Study on Security and Privacy Guidelines, Countermeasures, Threats: IoT Data at Rest Perspective. Symmetry 2019, 11, 774.

Hezam Akram Abdul-Ghani, Dimitri Konstantas and Mohammed Mahyoub, “A Comprehensive IoT Attacks Survey based on a Building-blocked Reference Model” International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications(ijacsa), 9(3), 2018.




Akram Mohammed Akram Mohammed

Holding M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in software engineering from KFUPM University (KSA), and Geneva University (Switzerland – 2019) respectively, my research interests include: Internet of Things (IoT), security and privacy by design for IoT, cyber security, use and misuse models, and more importantly security and privacy guidelines for IoT.

Besides my educational background and having published four papers in peer-reviewed journals as well as a book, I also have more than four years’ experience in teaching and more specifically in software engineering.

Having taught various courses (e.g., introduction to information systems, Geneva University), I enjoy sharing my strong organizational skills, education and teaching background, as well as my ability to work well with people, within dynamic and stimulating environments.

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