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Article | February 13, 2020
In my previous post, I gave an explanation of basic IoT device management and why it’s insufficient for certain kinds of massive-scale IoT deployments. In addition to basic IoT device management, contextual IoT device management is necessary to ensure success when dealing with IoT solutions involving thousands to millions of devices. In this post, I explore some of the key aspects of contextual IoT device management, with real examples that demonstrate why you need to manage devices contextually if you’re building, buying, and/or implementing massive-scale IoT solutions.
We live in an era of digital transformation where more and more devices are connecting to bring new and innovative levels of service and efficiency. This transformation spans across all markets and the rate of progress is breath-taking, says David Maidment, director, secure device ecosystem at Arm.This change brings huge benefits, but it also brings threats in the shape of an expanding cybercrime footprint. Every connected device is a hack potential. Rather than attacking traditional IT equipment, the cybercrime threats start to move to all aspects of our lives. It is predicted that by 2021 there will already be US$6 trillion (€5.37 trillion) of cybercrime damage (Source: Cybersecurity Ventures Official Annual Cybercrime Report), which is a staggering number pinned against financial loss for businesses, without considering the damage to reputation and other harder-to-measure statistics.
Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) are helping drive the Internet of things (IoT) explosion. They connect millions of low-power IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices into wireless networks over a range of distances, from short to really, really long, from indoor applications to those covering large fields or even cities. But device designers using the LoRaWAN standard may be lulled into thinking that just configuring its security keys is enough to prevent their devices from being hacked. A new report says it isn’t. Four protocols give enterprises a choice in LPWAN connectivity: cellular NB-IoT, LTE-M, and Sigfox, and the non-cellular LoRaWAN standard. Among these, the open LoRaWAN overwhelmingly dominates. Omdia (formerly IHS Markit – Technology) projects a “quite high forecast” for LoRa, said Lee Ratliff, senior principal analyst, connectivity and IoT.
An IoT ecosystem, like any biome on Earth, is constantly subjected to changes and threats at various scales. Whether the system is an asset tracking solution in a hospital to help deliver more effective healthcare or cold chain management ensuring temperature control during transportation, the hardware/sensor is where the data journey commences in an IoT ecosystem. The integrity of these hardware components is paramount to the success of an IoT solution, but there are currently critical threat points on these devices which left unaddressed could be disastrous. Much of the focus of IoT security is on keeping the communicated data from IoT devices untampered up the solution stack. Methods like end-to-end AES encryption are currently standard by most network protocols and are well secured and tested.
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