The IoT powers some of the most critical use cases in the enterprise – including physical security and access control – yet there’s a huge IT pain point that no one is addressing: the need for automating the security and management of IT devices. Enterprises today have hundreds, or thousands, or even tens of thousands of IoT devices to manage and secure – but their IT teams have no centralized way of automating the day-to-day operations of these devices once they are deployed in the field. With more devices becoming IP-enabled every day, they have become a management liability.
IoT Operations (IoTOps) is a growing area of responsibility, where teams are accountable for the enterprise’s IoT devices, including automated operations, cybersecurity, and predictive maintenance. In addition, these teams manage the new generation of IoT devices: extracting the data necessary for gleaning critical insights into ongoing operational challenges, and delivering clear business value to the organization.
In this eWeek Data Points article, SecuriThings CEO Roy Dagan delves into why it’s essential that every enterprise embrace IoTOps to automate the security and management of their IoT devices.
Data Point 1: Fragmented device ecosystem
Enterprises contend with a multitude of connected devices that often come from different vendors and run on a wide range of software or software versions. In addition, the devices are commonly integrated with several third-party systems, putting pressure on operations teams to ensure that each device is running properly, is fully secure, and is up-to-date with the latest firmware or software available.
Data Point 2: Lack of visibility
It’s not uncommon for enterprises to have a lack of insight into the device ecosystem. According to a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of organizations lack visibility into their IoT environment. How many devices do they have? What types of devices? How are they connected to the IoT? When visibility is low, important data is missed, making the environment even harder to manage.
Data Point 3: IT is overwhelmed
Given how ubiquitous IoT is in the enterprise, it is critical to bring in a team of specialists to alleviate the burden on IT. This is a win-win for the organization: dedicated professionals ensure your IoT devices are running optimally, and internal staff is freed up to concentrate on more strategic IT tasks that add greater value to the enterprise.
Data Point 4: Privacy is paramount
Device security is even more critical today with sensors picking up personal sights and sounds in homes, businesses and other public places. If a connected surveillance system is hacked – such as in the recent Verkada breach where hackers accessed 150,000 live-camera feeds from hospitals, schools and prisons – the fallout will be swift and painful. An IoTOps strategy allows customers to benefit from risk mitigation and automated security maintenance for these mission critical systems.
Data Point 5: Compliance is a must
Compliance with all the latest security standards is critical, but it’s also extremely time consuming. Every deployed device must always be updated with the latest firmware versions or at least be clear of any known vulnerabilities. Passwords must be frequently and uniquely rotated. Third-party integrations must be monitored. Devices must be restarted manually. This takes time and effort for an already overworked staff.
Data Point 6: The IoT stack will only continue to grow
GlobalData predicts that enterprise IoT deployments will reach 11.3 billion connections by 2024. That’s a massive amount of data that IoTOps must collect from each and every managed device. This metadata is analyzed and translated into alerts which is then prioritized leveraging AI and Machine Learning capabilities. Playing catch-up when trying to analyze this huge lake of data is inefficient and overwhelming. Looking toward the future, enterprises must put an IoT strategy in place early in order to reign in device and data sprawl.