By: Abhi Maras, Cloudpath Product Line Manager
According to IDC, the global market for Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to reach $7.1 trillion by 2020, and the number of IoT devices is projected to grow from 13 to 30 billion over the next five years*. Many of these IoT devices do and will continue to carry sensitive data.
Those devices need to be securely onboarded and connected.
Why is that challenging? Let’s start with the lack of secure mechanisms available for onboarding and off-boarding. Add to it the fact that IoT devices need to maintain separate network policies not just against user client devices but against themselves due to many device types and applications in play. IoT devices don’t need access to things like file sharing systems that a user/client device would need. While not all things are created equal, recent IoT implementations have treated them as such. For example, the thing controlling the temperature in the break room should be managed differently than the thing powering an oxygen tent in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU).
The good news? These IoT challenges can all be solved. The real challenge is how to solve them at scale.
The best option for addressing scale is certificate-based Wi-Fi security. This type of IoT onboarding allows manufacturers to easily enable secure IoT devices in days or weeks rather than months. By simplifying the availability and adoption of secure IoT devices, it is possible to accelerate onboarding and successfully manage network access without the need for new infrastructure, processes or skills.
Once IoT devices are so secured, the next step is to better enable IT managers in the enterprises that are deploying these IoT devices to control and manage network privileges. This vastly simplifies the adoption of secure IoT devices at scale.
The ideal onboarding technology has the capability to apply specific policies to specific devices, to make the same network cater to users and IT devices while differentiating them and applying different, appropriate policies to all. As a result, mission-critical devices (like that oxygen tent in the ICU) can be treated as such in a hierarchy of permissions set to suit the unique needs of each enterprise via centralized management and control.
*According to IDC, by 2018 66 percent of networks will have an IoT security breach.