Risky Links: Layers and Protocols of Internet of Everything Devices
We see the ‘cool’ when we wear or operate our smart TVs and watches and all other smart devices we own. But are we aware of how the data is processed in these devices? And where does the data we get or the data that these devices transmit end up?
Most, if not all, smart devices are connected to the Internet – where the data we send and receive over our smart devices are stored. Before ending up on the Internet, the data passes through several layers:
- Link layer – where the smart devices sends and shares the data. In this layer, the data is shared among devices via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, RFID, and Bluetooth protocols, among others.
- Router layer – can also be referred to as the Smart Hub layer. It is the device that connects all of your smart devices to the Internet.
- Session layer – when you use apps in your smart devices (think FitBit as an example), the data sent and received through these apps are managed in this layer. Both HTTP and HTTPS are the more known protocols used in this layer.
- Internet layer – can also be called as the Cloud layer. This is where the data ends up. If you use apps that have equivalent Web-based login pages (take fitness monitoring apps such as Runtastic, for example), you’ll see the 101 steps you recorded is ‘pushed’ to your Web profile almost immediately.
Now there is nothing wrong with the way smart devices and the Internet link together. It’s perfectly fine save for one thing: there are risks. The possibility of the Internet layer (where the data is stored) being attacked is highly likely. Password-based attacks – guessing passwords, brute force attacks – can be used to access the Internet layer and steal data. Changing the data that passes through the Session layer by way of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks is also possible. Hacking the Link layer, while difficult and low-yield, is also likely.
Be on the safe and smart side of smart devices. Our infographic Layers and Protocols: Possible Attacks on the Internet of Everything walks you through the risks and suggests protection measures you need to know and implement.