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By Alberto Jessurun / September 23, 2020 / Blog

How the IoT Is Impacting Cloud Storage

The Internet of Things (IoT) means more and more new devices are all fighting to connect, and this new environment all but requires cloud computing. But how is the IoT impacting cloud storage?

There are more connected devices than ever before with the increasing spread of the Internet of Things (IoT), the network of devices that communicate with one another over the internet. They can be anything from smart home devices to medical monitors to car systems to fitness trackers. 

Because these devices require new solutions to store data, cloud computing is an important component in the IoT, and that brings new considerations to cloud storage and security. 

MarketsandMarkets forecasts that the global IoT cloud platform market will reach $11.5 billion by 2025, up from $6.4 billion in 2020. The increase will be driven by more IoT devices, the need to increase operational efficiency, and more affordable prices for IoT devices. Another major cause for the increase is the shift from on-premises to cloud-based data management, which an increasing number of organizations are undergoing.

IoT data continues to increase

As the IoT continues to grow, and new devices are introduced every day, more and more data will be transferred and accumulated. Organizations and individuals will require more cloud storage capacity to keep up with all the new data being tracked and transmitted. 

The necessary increase in cloud storage capacity means not only increasing IT investment but also a greater need to aggregate all the IoT data coming in from multiple sources. These changes will impact how data is collected, analyzed, transferred, and stored within the cloud. 

Imagine a hospital environment where there could be hundreds of IoT devices operating at the same time, tracking different information for patients and sending it to other devices to be analyzed by doctors and medical staff. The cloud infrastructure within the hospital must be able to adapt to continue to increase storage capacity. But other considerations come into play, like wireless network performance and quality, to ensure that no critical data is lost or fails to transfer at a crucial moment. 

Because many IoT devices cannot process data on their own, there is more pressure on cloud services to handle this data. One answer to that problem is edge computing, an approach where data is processed closer to its IoT source before entering the cloud. This is one way the cloud storage burden can be reduced when more and more IoT devices are being introduced.  

As noted, an increase in data generated from IoT devices also means more spending on cloud storage for organizations. According to one report from 451 Research, 32.4% of organizations deploying IoT are planning to increase spending on storage capacity, the biggest reported increase in IT resources, followed by network edge equipment and server infrastructure.

Threats to cloud security

Along with more spending on cloud storage and greater capacity for IoT data, there are further security considerations for the new IoT-driven cloud infrastructure. IoT devices often don’t have the built-in security protections that more traditional connected devices, like computers, have. This brings a whole new set of risks alongside the risks that cloud storage faces on its own, including loss of intellectual property, malware attacks, lack of compliance, and others.

These devices also use many different techniques and technologies to transmit data, so it can be a greater challenge for teams to set up effective protocols. In addition, some sources estimate that almost all the traffic from IoT devices is unencrypted (98%), meaning that data can be more easily exposed and exploited by cybercriminals.

Within an organization, employees or clients may bring in their own devices into the wireless network, introducing new risks and creating more opportunities for cybercriminals to access sensitive company data. When more people and devices are accessing cloud services, there are many more risks to the stored information. 

The IoT in essence increases these risks because there are so many new devices entering and exiting an organization’s network and accessing cloud storage solutions. More and more people are using IoT devices, and these new users often don’t know the exposure risks of their devices.

The bottom line: The IoT makes cloud storage both a requirement for organizations and much more complex. As the IoT continues to grow and more workplaces go remote, requiring everything to be stored and accessed within the cloud, more threats, changes, and solutions will be realized. 

Unisol International provides turnkey deployments of IP networking solutions so that you can implement the right security, server, and storage solution for your company. Get in touch with our team to learn more about our technology solutions and products.

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