IoT Gateway Device Development Services
IoT Gateway Device Development Project: the Best Practices
IoT Gateway Device, in addition to managing two way data transfer, is responsible for compatibility, IoT security and device configuration and management.
Following are some of the best practices to keep in mind before kick-starting an IoT Gateway software and hardware development project:
FAQs for IoT Gateway Development
Q. Can you tell us about your IoT gateway development and some key features of your IoT gateway devices?
A. We have supported the design and development of scalable IoT Gateway devices with low-power foot prints. Following are the some salient feature of our IoT Gateway devices:
- Support for standard industrial network protocols such as ZigBee, IR, EnOcean, Modbus, Profinet
- Compatibility with faster and data-efficient communication protocols such Wi-Fi, Ethernet etc.
- Includes portable and adaptable IoT software code that is compatible with a wide range of hardware platforms and OS
- Support for Over the Air (OTA) firmware and security updates.
- Can be connected to either a public cloud server or a hosted cloud server.
- Supports both horizontal and vertical scalability to meet the changing business needs
- Is integrated with TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) for hardware security (details about our IoT gateway security practice has been covered under a different question)
Additionally, we have developed custom made IoT gateway solutions for a range of industrial use cases including retail inventory automation, solar energy plants, office automation – to name a few.
Q. What are the best practices followed by Embitel for development of a highly secured IoT gateway solution?
A. At Embitel, we ensure that security features are integrated right at design stage itself. While designing such a foolproof IoT gateway solution, we take care of the system security at multiple levels.
Following are some of our IoT security best practices:
- Secure booting of the IoT system: For any device to run in a smooth and secure manner, its booting process must be reliable. This forms the foundation of the security of the IoT gateway system throughout its lifecycle.
A secured process is necessary to ensure that the booting of the IoT gateway device is initiated only by trusted and authenticated software. Secure boot is very crucial to protect your IoT device against any Malware and Man in The Middle attack.
The robustness of the system boot is ensured by:
- Checking the source of the boot: Each time the device is booted, the boot source is verified and authenticated using Secure Boot keys, which is unique for each boot module.
- Checking the content of the boot: This is to verify that device is being updated by the correct version of the boot and to ensure that only verified ad authenticated software is being booted in the IoT gateway device.
In addition to the secure booting, we also take care of IoT gateway security at various levels : Data communication ( from sensors to gateway as well as from gateway to cloud) , network security, hardware security & more.
Q. Can you explain more about how data security is ensured in your IoT gateway development projects?
A. While we talk about data communication security, we categorize it: as security of data exchanged between the sensor to the gateway ; that of the data transmitted from gateway to cloud. Here is a snapshot of the two components in detail:
- Secure Data Communication between Sensor Nodes and Gateway: Usually, sensor communication protocols such as ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Z-Wave, WiFi, LoRaWan and others have in-built strong security features to ensure reliable and secure data exchange between the sensor network and the IoT gateway.
Additionally, we also encrypt the data from sensor nodes to IoT gateway, depending on your project requirements.
- Secure Data Communication with Cloud: All the data packets that are being exchanged from IoT sensors to IoT gateway and then IoT gateway to cloud servers are sufficiently encrypted. The security of the IoT gateway and cloud server communication is ensured through key management mechanisms and security certifications such as TLS or SSL.
The IoT gateway devices (that are part of the network) are registered with the server and are given a unique MAC ID.
When the server receives a connection request, it verifies this MAC ID by mapping it with the list of authenticated IoT gateway devices available in the server. Once the mapping is done, it checks for the security certifications of the IoT gateway devices to validate that the connection request is coming from an authenticated source.
Q. What about hardware security within your IoT gateway development solutions?
A. In our IoT gateway development solutions, hardware security is ensured through Trusted Platform Module / TPM. A TPM offers an additional layer of security, over and above to the security modules discussed above.
TPM helps in ensuring hardware security through integrated cryptographic keys against data phishing attacks. We leverage the following benefits of the TPM for hardware security:
- Device authentication through TPM’s unique RSA key that is burned into it.
- Generate, store, and manage the use of cryptographic keys.
Q. How do you manage Load balancing in IoT Gateways?
A. In order to efficiently manage Load Balancing, we create ‘mesh network topology’ of IoT Gateway devices and Sensor nodes.
Such a cluster of IoT gateway devices consists of multiple IoT Gateway systems interconnected with each other. This cluster of IoT Gateway devices is installed between a source node (IoT sensor) and destination node (cloud server).
When a device/system failure occurs, an IoT gateway transfers applications and device connections to the geographic neighbor Gateway, which is compatible with the desired connectivity protocol.
Q. How do you ensure continuous availability of the gateway without any downtime?
A. In order to ensure a continuous & reliable availability of system devices within an IoT network, we implement temporary data back-up technique.
If due to some reason, IoT gateway connectivity is lost, we store the data temporarily either in a memory or a disk. As and when the connection is restored, this stored data is pushed to the server. This helps in preventing any data loss during a connection failure.
Additionally, IoT gateway clustering also helps in preventing data loss during connectivity failure.
Q. Please share details regarding the IoT gateway testing practices?
A. At Embitel, we provide support for the testing of the IoT gateway solution, before deploying it in the production environment.
The standard testing practices include Unit testing, Integration testing, Functional testing, and System testing. In addition to these, we also perform: Stress tests, Vibration tests, Heat Chamber testing, – depending on the deployment field and the customer’s use case requirement.
Our IoT Consultants will partner with your teams to create a comprehensive test plan for your IoT gateway project.
Q. I have an industrial automation setup that is based on legacy systems and processes. How can you integrate your IoT Gateway solution with this system?
A. We have successfully helped many of our customers, from varied industry segments, in starting their IoT journey. We have helped them in revamping their legacy industrial automation systems, enabling them to save operational costs in the process.
We will first understand and analyze your industrial automation set up and create an IoT roadmap that is most compatible with your existing systems. We will design communication interface cards (between sensor device to gateway & gateway to cloud) that can communicate with your industrial assets and collect crucial information.
This information, via IoT gateway device, will be sent securely to an authenticated cloud server for data processing and analysis.
At all levels, stringent security measures are implemented to ensure safety of data . Thus your critical enterprise data can be remotely accessed and managed with the help of a secure IoT network.