Covering an enormous range of industries and cases of use that span from a single device to massive cross-platform deployments and real-time cloud systems, the Internet of Things is gigantic, to say the least. It has also been generally unregulated since the beginning.

After nearly a decade since its original “birthdate” between 2008 and 2009, an international standard has finally been laid out for the Internet of Things. This revolutionary standard not only signifies the rapid expansion of IoT device use, but also the need for a global common practice for this continually evolving technology.

The new standard, called ISO/IEC 30141, has been issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and serves as the internationally standardized Internet of Things Reference Architecture; it outlines the common vocabulary, reusable designs, and industry best practices on the global scale. The standard was developed by Dr. François Coallier, Chair of the Joint Technical Committee of the ISO and International Technical Commission (IEC), after reflecting on the fact that the IoT is rapidly expanding across all sectors without any real guidelines in place. Once implemented, it will give device designers and developers a common framework that will make the resulting systems trustworthy, safe and secure, and will help them better cope with disruptions.

With millions of devices communicating across the Internet while divulging private data via different types of networks, it is safe to say that the IoT has basically been demanding some form of standardization to fully unlock its potential while ensuring security. With this global market expected to increase from $157 billion to nearly $1 trillion by 2020, the expansion of connected devices brings up many security concerns that can be exacerbated by the fact that IoT devices are not manufactured to any suitable standard. The sectors leading this growth have been manufacturing, logistics and transportation, and utilities.

While growth projections are high for the IoT as a whole, adoption is hindered by the concerns surrounding the security of the overall devices and integration with existing technology. However, these cyber-concerns are the result of the rush to market without a cybersecurity plan already in place. With this new international standard, Internet of Things designers, manufactures, and system developers will know how to safely create and implement these devices.

The applications for this technology are nearly endless, but as the phenomenon of the Internet of Things continues to explode, so does the need for security, trust, and universal guidelines for these systems – and ISO/IEC 30141 is the start of standardization.