The IoT lesson you should have already learned

IoT skills DXC Blogs

A few weeks ago I wrote about the steps enterprises must take to get ready for the Internet of Things (IoT). I focused on the importance of managing and analyzing data generated from connected devices.

Doing this successfully, however, is predicated on two things: connectivity and security. Without these, your IoT initiatives are doomed to underperform or, even worse, open your enterprise to vulnerabilities that can cost you in a number of ways.

While implementing IoT may seem daunting or even overwhelming — we’re talking about managing and securing potentially thousands of connected devices, after all — IT pros can apply a few lessons from their experiences with another revolutionary shift: BYOD.

The first lesson you should have gained from your BYOD implementation (the hard way, in some cases) is that you need:

  1. Defined goals related to business objectives
  2. A way to measure performance relative to those goals and
  3. A set of policies in place to manage and secure data and devices.

That last one in particular is critical on an operational basis since IoT can exponentially scale the number of devices connecting to an enterprise network.

If that’s not challenging enough, most IoT devices are cheaply manufactured and easily breached. This makes them tempting targets for hackers, as one technology writer discovered when he set up a fake IoT device that was attacked hundreds of times in just a few hours.

Just as enterprises must create usage and access policies for IoT devices, they also need to identify ALL devices connected to the network and what each is capable of doing. Remember, shadow IoT is not your friend.

One more tip: The sheer volume of IoT devices that many enterprises soon will have to manage is beyond the scope of mere humans. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can be invaluable.

As Information Security Buzz contributor Eran Barak writes, “AI-based security tools have the ability to automatically investigate every alert, instead of simply prioritizing alerts to match capacity.”

Further, Barak says, AI-based security for IoT devices can “automate the remediation process,” freeing up IT to work on enterprise strategic priorities.

IoT may seem like a brave new world — and in terms of sheer volume, it is. But so was BYOD a few years ago — and hey, you survived that, right?

RELATED LINKS

Getting your enterprise ready for IoT

Internet of Things: Revolution or evolution?

2017: The maturing of IoT and the Industrial Internet

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