Onboarding an IoT device can be a complicated process. Administrators must constantly integrate a variety of devices and ensure a secure connection.
To onboard an IoT device, administrators need to connect it to a local network and the Internet so that the device can perform its intended tasks. Next, they need to connect the device to the specific apps it will use. These applications introduce additional layers of security and configuration that administrators must navigate when provisioning IoT devices.
For successful IoT device integration, address these four elements:
1. Plan data storage and usage in advance
IoT devices don’t have much built-in storage, so they must upload collected data to a cloud-based or on-premises storage system. This means that administrators overseeing IoT deployments need to understand the type of data storage infrastructure available to them, how much data it can store, and when certain datastores are backed up or deleted.
Have a policy that addresses both use and ownership of corporate data collected from IoT devices. If a user can access company data on their personal device, and potentially store or transfer it, align that use with company data governance policies. Users must clearly understand the rules for using data, as well as the legal risks in case of violation of the rules.
2. Automate device onboarding and provisioning
IoT administrators can leverage APIs to provision fleet devices and use zero-touch provisioning, features often included in IoT management software.
These options reduce the time to configure and deploy IoT devices, but they are not without challenges. For example, zero-touch provisioning, a way to automatically install and configure a device, requires little manual intervention. Nevertheless, administrators should be aware of potential problems with configuration files and implement strong security protocols to protect against hackers.
3. Use enterprise IoT software for device management
Enterprise IoT device management software maintains a list of all devices authorized to use and access the network. It can also track permissions for each device and enforce security protocols. Additionally, this software may restrict access and/or installation of certain applications and data per device.
Beyond device management, enterprise IoT software provides administrators with insights into the operation of their IoT infrastructure. With real-time data and alerts, administrators know the health and status of any IoT device connected to the network. IT teams are notified if a device goes offline or has connection issues so they can troubleshoot and re-provision hardware if needed.
4. Set appropriate security levels
IoT devices typically have lax default security settings. It is up to IT to enforce these settings to ensure that devices meet corporate security and governance standards.
As part of the provisioning process, issue new device passwords and configure device certificates. These certificates provide IoT devices with a unique identifier, which authenticates the device and protects it against IP attacks.
Take the time to set passcodes on specific devices and see which devices require role-based access so the right users can access the data they need.
After devices are provisioned and onboarded to IoT management software, configure automatic security and application updates for new devices. Devices should also be automatically tracked so that if a user loses or misplaces a device, IT can locate it and, if necessary, shut it down.
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