How Managed Solutions Can Help Get You Started With the IoT

managed_iot.jpgNow that businesses are aware of how effective the Internet of Things can be, they need to develop strategies through which they can actually implement and integrate it. The Internet of Things comprises any internet-capable devices that can be integrated into the corporate network -- and because it has such a broad scope, it requires some careful planning. Managed solutions can help you through every step of the process.

Selecting Potential IoT Opportunities

Nearly anything in your office can become an IoT device, from your overhead lighting system to your coffee machine. The question that needs to be asked is whether the device will benefit the office enough to mitigate the costs of integrating it. Your managed solution provider will be able to run down the benefits of integrating each desired device. Consider the major benefits of an IoT device:

  • An IoT device can be checked and managed remotely. They can also self-report on issues that they are experiencing.
  • IoT devices are able to be automated effectively. They can react to scheduled timers and be programmed accordingly.

One of the first "Internet of Things" devices in business infrastructures was the common printer. Networked printers could have their status checked from anywhere in the office, could self-report when low on paper or ink, and could have data sent to them from anywhere -- even mobile phones. For a smart office, HVAC systems, lighting, and even security could be automated and controlled through IoT.

Integrating IoT Devices Into Your IT Infrastructure

Once you've identified the devices that you want to integrate into your IT infrastructure, you need to determine how the integration will take place. How will the devices communicate to your network? One complication of the IoT is that there isn't currently a "standard" the way there is for the World Wide Web. Instead, different devices have different communication protocols.

Modern IoT integration requires the customization of numerous APIs -- and that's where an integration expert or managed partner becomes most worthwhile. In the future, it's possible that the technology will become advanced and standardized so that IoT devices are more "plug and play." For now, integration experts are required to make sure that the entire system works well together.

Keeping Your Infrastructure Secure from IoT

The final concern when moving towards the Internet of Things is, of course, security. The more devices you connect to your network, the more complicated your infrastructure becomes. The more complicated your infrastructure becomes, the more potential vulnerabilities exist. Managed solutions such as Identity-as-a-Service are one of the most critical technologies for IoT-ready networks, as it consolidates security credentials for better monitoring and maintenance. Apart from this, individual IoT devices need to be vetted and should be kept in their own segments of the network.

The Internet of Things represents some excellent opportunities for offices looking to improve the productivity and "intelligence" of their offices. But though the IoT has become ubiquitous, proper implementation still remains a challenge. At CWPS, we offer comprehensive managed solutions for the integration and maintenance of IoT-ready networks. Contact us today to learn more.

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How Businesses Can Get the Most Out of the IoT

internet_of_Things_internet_of_everything.jpgThe Internet of Things does not have to be feared. Though it does currently represent a substantial security threat, the benefits that it will soon convey far outweigh the negatives. Like the cloud, the IoT will eventually become more secure as it sees further adoption, and will ultimately be able to help companies in some major ways.

If your business is thinking about embracing the Internet of Things, here is how to get the most out of this new technology.

Collect, Monitor, and Optimize

The Internet of Things gives you a better understanding of your core business operations. Something as simple as a printer being able to communicate with your network when it's out of paper and ink is something that the "Internet of Things" does -- it's just that the IoT is now becoming slightly more complex. The IoT can provide a wide array of these types of efficiency improvements, making your office operate smoothly.

It can be difficult to monitor assets throughout an organization, especially larger organizations. However, by using IoT devices, your business will have access to better analytic information through the use of sensors and other analytic profiles. You can use the Internet of Things to ensure that your inventory is properly tracked, repaired, and/or maintained, thereby saving your business a significant amount of money and time. This is being used throughout many industries, such as construction and manufacturing.

Use the IoT to Improve Staff Productivity

There's a reason why the Internet of Things is becoming so popular. It makes life less hectic for people -- including your employees and business partners. The IoT makes it easier for your team to complete their tasks because they have access to the corporate network and tools from anywhere they are. This is very similar to the benefits of the cloud.  

Create Better Customer Experiences

Customer experiences and satisfaction are incredibly important for any business. The Internet of Things provides new and better customer experiences by also allowing customers to connect to the company through other devices. Some organizations are even able to integrate IoT devices -- such as sensors -- to provide better direct service to their customers, such as by alerting to any issues the customers are having and responding quickly.

There are still some things that need to be worked out before most businesses are able to successfully embrace the new Internet of Everything. In particular, security issues do need to be locked down by a capable and competent provider. At CWPS, we can help you get the most of the Internet of Things without potentially exposing your business and its IT infrastructure to risk.

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How IDaaS Protects Against the Dangers of the Internet of Things

Identity_as_a_Service_IDaaS.jpgA hot topic in modern organizations, the Internet of Things is swiftly becoming a driving force in new security technologies. The Internet of Things represents some serious security issues that IT teams will need to address as the technology moves forward.

Identity-as-a-Service may be one of the newer technology trends that are able to secure organizations against this growing threat.

How the "Internet of Things" Is Threatening Organizations

Everything today is connected to the Internet. That includes printers, copiers, speakers, tablets -- virtually anything in an office is likely to be WiFi-capable and accessible via a web-based login. Though this may seem convenient, it's actually incredibly harmful. A recent study by HP found that up to 70% of Internet of Things devices are not properly secured. A device that is connected to the company network could be compromised, thereby compromising the entirety of the network. Organizations today may have dozens, if not hundreds, of unmanaged devices that are connected to the network and representing a security risk.

IT professionals have their hands full when attempting to manage the "Internet of Things." Each device that is introduced into the IoT expands the organization's network in addition to adding vulnerabilities, and the security protocols and authentication solutions that these devices use can be widely disparate, requiring entirely different methods of management. The only way to control the IoT is to create a consolidated infrastructure that can manage access, permissions, and protocols.

Protecting Against the Internet of Things With IDaaS

Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) provides a comprehensive, single login solution for all devices. Through Identity as a Service, authentication protocols can be maintained throughout an infrastructure, even in seemingly disparate elements.

Authentication and ID is exceptionally important to a network infrastructure. Authentication controls everything at a user can access, view, modify, and delete. With a myriad of devices and access points, authentication can become fragmented; users may have multiple logins and authentication protocols themselves can become unwieldy. Creating a single, overarching and comprehensive system that manages all devices and network controls can protect against the ever-expanding "Internet of Things" that presently threatens security.

Without appropriate management, the Internet of Things can become a risk to any organization. In addition to the threats that mobile devices and bring-your-own-device policies introduce, the Internet of Things creates vulnerabilities around every corridor. Consequently, IT personnel will need to manage these threats by creating consolidated frameworks through which these devices connect. Identity-as-a-Service is an all-in-one solution to many of these potentially compromising issues.

Guide to Keeping company's data safe

Image source: Ministerio TIC Colombia