Global IoT (Internet of Things) spending is expected to hit $1 trillion by 2022, and is largely driven by manufacturing, transportation, and utilities. Connecting devices such as oil well valves, temperature and pressure sensors, and even traffic lights and electric meters means an explosion of data and connections – as well as an increase of the “attack surface” available to hackers and bad actors.
Connecting industrial sensors and equipment – the “Internet of Things – is now moving past the prototype stage and into production. New internet-connected devices such as infusion pumps, refrigerators, building controls, door locks, security cameras and fire control equipment are being installed at a record pace, and designing a security infrastructure to protect those devices is becoming increasingly important. Even such mundane items such as milk cows, tractors, road graders and pallets are being connected, monitored, tracked and analyzed.
As more devices than ever are connected to the Internet, two major challenges face businesses trying to take advantage of this trend – the huge influx of data, and the security needed to keep this data and the devices safe.
Managing IoT Data
IoT devices often provide monitoring services. They can be monitoring video, access control, vehicle movement, temperature and pressure, or even the movement of the above-mentioned cow. Each IoT device can produced gigabytes of information, and companies are tasked with the challenge of not only storing and managing the data but analyzing this data to make better business decisions. Spreadsheets and simple databases cannot cope or even provide meaningful analysis of this data.
Often IoT data is stored and managed in “the cloud”. This can be a propriety vendor’s cloud such as your security cameras. You can also send data to the huge data “lakes” at Amazon and Microsoft, who are quickly rolling out their IoT service offerings. These services can provide you vendor-agnostic storage of your data yet comes at a cost. The benefit is scalability and high availability. You can expand your IoT footprint quickly before your competitors and gain a competitive advantage in your marketplace.
Securing IoT Data
As the number of IoT endpoints grows, so does the need to monitor and secure those endpoints. Most of these devices run a common operating system such as embedded Windows or Linux, and hence can be easy targets for hackers. While the hacker may not necessarily be interested in a device such as a temperature sensor, they may use these devices to attack higher-value devices such as credit card payment processing systems, programmable industrial controllers, CNC machines, electrical grid switches, etc. It is imperative that as your IoT network grows, you can monitor the network for unauthorized traffic and disable rogue devices.
How 3Nines Technologies can help you with IoT
3Nines Technologies has over 20 years of experience in monitoring and managing client networks. We can provide advice and expertise for small and mid-sized firms to help you expand, grow and secure your IoT network. We work with you to understand your needs and provide ideas and recommendations that fit your budget. We can help you with monitoring and management of your network and devices, allowing your staff to focus on your business, not your IT back-end.