The Future of IoT Networking is impacted by Zero Trust and Wireless WAN

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on April 20, 2022

Zero-trust security models, the growth of wireless WANs, and the advent of pop-up companies are all contributing to accelerating IoT networking capabilities innovation.

The growth of devices and use cases, as well as the need for stronger business architectures, remain the most important stories in IoT. However, the world of IoT networking is undergoing significant changes. Zero-trust networking, the expansion of wireless technologies, and the rise of pop-up operations are the most significant networking innovations shaping the future of IoT.

IoT and Zero Trust

IoT devices frequently lack a comprehensive, general-purpose operating system. As a result, they are unable to execute endpoint protection software or a zero-trust network agent like a software-defined perimeter client. They may not be able to protect themselves against hostile network traffic at all, except by being notified where and on what ports IP address management messages should be sent.

IT businesses use a range of techniques to overcome this problem. A wholly independent physical network may have been the norm once upon a time. For isolating certain types of devices, most businesses have moved to independent virtual LANs (VLANs).

Organizations that use a zero-trust strategy, on the other hand, do not rely solely on VLAN logical segmentation. They’re putting policy enforcement points in place in the architecture. For example, a device or a group of devices belonging to the same class can be protected by zero-trust gateways that regulate all communication.

Enterprises may expect to see new devices support various classes of the zero-trust clients as IoT platforms grow and standardize, and zero-trust providers hone their emphasis. Vendors are focusing on expanding application container systems to the IoT arena, for example, which would allow a containerized zero-trust client to control device connections.

IoT and the Wireless WAN

According to Nemertes Research, there is growing interest in using wireless technology for WAN connectivity (either 4G or 5G). Most WANs have at least one site that uses wireless for WAN in some capacity, usually as a failover or backup connection in the case of a wired link failure.

The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, prompted the fast development of wireless WAN (WWAN), in part because many enterprises needed to extend their WAN to at least a few home offices. The improvement in the speed and dependability of cellular data networks has also been significant. When you consider dropping cellular data rates and the expensive expenses of traditional low-bandwidth cable connectivity (such as T1), it’s easy to see why businesses should transition to WWAN.

One of the use cases mentioned by WWAN adopters is using cellular data services to carry IoT traffic. According to Nemertes, this use case was mentioned by about 15% of companies.

IoT traffic includes a wide range of IoT activities, such as the following:

  • constructing environmental controls that are linked to a central database and administration panel;
  • security systems that provide information on the state of doors; and
  • Room utilization is reported through motion detectors.

A Slice for IoT

5G network slicing, which is still in its early stages in the carrier market, will help IoT on the WWAN by fine-tuning performance requirements to fit the demands of certain devices and use cases. Slicing allows network providers to allocate and safeguard bandwidth for specific use cases, as well as prioritize bit handling to manage latency across slices.

Enterprises require reliable data transmission with minimal latency for specific devices, such as robotic forklift position information in a large warehouse. The forklift data would not have to fight for bandwidth with someone viewing a movie on their phone during their lunch break in this scenario of slicing.


Ultrawideband (UWB) is another wireless network technology that will see more IoT use for the following reasons:

  • When necessary, it can transport a large amount of data quickly.
  • When needed, it can transport a little amount of data while utilizing very little power.
  • It has the ability to deliver extremely precise position data.

UWB is already found in high-end cellphones and automobile key fobs, and it will continue to expand in use cases. Motion detectors for building security and in-building location tracking for everything from cleaning equipment to patients in assisted-living facilities are just a few examples.

UWB will ultimately be used in sensor swarms due to its ability to provide low-bitrate, low-power, or ultrafast network connectivity, as well as the ability to precisely determine physical proximity. Individual devices will collect and exchange low and slow data streams with one another as they coordinate data collection, but will appoint various battery-rich members to provide aggregated data at a fast speed.

IoT and pop-up business

The pop-up business model, in which retail and professional services organizations build temporary sites to fulfill short-term opportunities or demand surges, fits very perfectly with WWAN. WWAN is an excellent solution to give complete enterprise connection to pop-up sites while requiring no advance time to set up or take down service.

WWAN, on the other hand, is essential for integrating IoT devices in pop-up branches into an existing IoT infrastructure. Businesses may deploy security measures to devices immediately and monitor them in the same way they handle devices in more traditional locations. A door sensor, for example, can be installed above the door of a newly leased office for two months and immediately become part of the security system.


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