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What role does security play in the age of IoT within the enterprise?

21 Sep 2016

As the widespread adoption of IoT connected devices increases, so too do concerns about data and network security.

That’s the word according to Ixia, who says that while the Internet of Things is set to revolutionise many aspects of business and daily life, it’s essential to understand how carefully manufacturers have tested devices’ reliability and security before an organisation connects them to their network.

Analyst firm Gartner forecasts 21 billion of IoT devices to be in use worldwide by 2020, with almost six percent for industrial IoT applications. The market is set to grow to US$1.3 trillion in this time. This is being fuelled by growing consumer expectations and the evolving regulatory landscape.

Moreover, Gartner predicts that by 2017, 50 per cent of IoT devices will have been created by companies that are younger than three years old.

Areg Alimian, senior director of solutions marketing at Ixia, says this can be concerning, particularly for businesses looking to involve IoT devices in their daily operations.

Less-mature organisations may not have had time to fully refine their devices’ reliability and security features, he says.

“Organisations deserve to know that their devices will work reliably and securely,” Alimian  says.

“For the companies making these products, IoT success requires more than just the device. It is essential to test through all stages of development and continuously monitor the devices. IoT really begins in the lab,” he explains.

“There are programmes that can help test IoT device processors, operating systems, and network connections with realistic protocol and application traffic. These tools help find vulnerabilities before they cause harm to a business network.”

For organisations implementing IoT devices and solutions, Alimian says it is important to know that the products are thoroughly tested by the manufacturer. It is also essential for IT teams and/or CIOs to review current network policies for these devices.

 “As employees bring more wireless IoT-connected devices into the business they will want to connect them to the office network,” says Alimian.

“It is important that the network can support more connected devices and that there is a policy clearly dictating the manner in which the devices are connected.

“The policy should also provide best practice guidelines for those using the devices while connected to the network,” he says.

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