Machine To Machine (M2M) Protocols

According to Techopedia,

Machine to Machine (M2M)refers to a wireless or wired network setup that enables same type of devices andcapability to communicate freely.

Illustration: Quora

In simple words, M2M is – two machines communicating or exchanging data, without human interfacing or interaction. Example of M2M communication in this case would be ATM machines getting authorization to dispense cash.

IoT and M2M have similar promises: to transform the way the world operates. M2M and IoT are almost similar — the exception is IoT typically refers to wireless communications, whereas

M2M will refer to any two machines—wired or wireless—communicating with one another.

M2M is among the fastest-growing types of connected device technologies in the market right now, largely because M2M technologies can connect millions of devices within a single network.

In order to establish alignment and trust in otherwise unmoderated and unmanaged technologies, certain standards are created.

Leading M2M/IoT Standards and Protocols

OMA DM

OMADM (Open Mobile Alliance Device Management) is a device management protocol designed to manage mobile devices such as phones and tablets. OMA DM is ideal for small foot-print devices that have a constraint onbandwidth of communication.

MQTT

MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) is another M2M connectivity protocol. It was designed as a lightweight publish and subscribe messaging transport. It is ideal for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is very low.

TR-069

TR-069 (Technical Report 069) is published by the Broadband Forum and entitled CPE WAN Management Protocol (CWMP). It defines an application layer protocol for remote management of end-user devices.

Google Thread

Google Thread is a network protocol developed by search engine giant Google. It focuses on low-power and security in IoT devices that use embedded data transmission via Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and/or ZigBee.

M2M Market Size and Share

According to a research by Zion Market Research, global machine to machine market was valued at approximately USD 18.96 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 25.24 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 5.3% between 2017 and 2022.

Security Concerns

While all of these advantages and future of M2M looks great, the downside is, there are certain security concerns with M2M protocol.

According to a new research, Hackers can leverage machine-to-machine (M2M) protocols to attack Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems.

Trend Micro monitored activity associated with these protocols over a period of four months and identified over 200 million MQTT messages leaked by hundreds of thousands of Internet-exposed brokers and servers.

Security professional have said that there are problems with these M2M protocols where they could be leveraged for targeted reconnaissance, industrial espionage, targeted attacks and lateral movement.

Following are a couple of recommendations by security professionals.

1. Run periodic checks using internet-wide scan services or tools to ensure that none of the sensitive data is inadvertently leaked through public IoT services. It is often the case that — for fast prototyping — test systems use insecure IoT servers, which are then left unchanged, even when supposed to run in live mode.

2. Stay up to date with the standards in this M2M space because this technology is evolving rapidly. The small footprint of these software may justify in-house development, so it is likely that organizations have chosen to develop their standard M2M technology rather than buy existing implementations.

That was a quick glimpse of M2M protocols! Hope you liked it…!

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