Every day, more and more devices are connecting to the Internet. Advances in technology have allowed for devices beyond computers and phones to take advantage of the power that online connectivity provides. The phenomenon of smart devices, or devices that can connect to the Internet, has paved the way for the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT encompasses everyday devices that can connect to either a wireless or wired network and access the Internet.
An enterprise can also implement IoT devices into their business infrastructure. This could range from smart printers, electronic locks, thermostats, and light switches. All of these IoT devices require Internet connectivity, and your business can set up your wireless network to host and manage them. However, because IoT is still a relatively new development, many businesses aren’t aware of the risks involved in setting up IoT devices on a wireless network. How can you prepare your wireless deployment for the Internet of Things?
Keep IoT device usage to a minimum
The Internet of Things might seem convenient at first – how great would it be if every appliance in your business could be controlled wirelessly? Well, that convenience may be seriously outweighed by the consequences of IoT usage. For one thing, IoT devices generate a ton of data. The purpose behind a majority of IoT devices is not just to use devices remotely; it’s also to create data that business-grade IoT data analytics software can interpret.
Your wireless network will have to receive at least some of that data, which could potentially waste a lot of your network’s resources. That’s why most IoT devices are designed to take advantage of cloud solutions, simply because of the power that cloud computing provides.
IoT and wireless security
Security is one of the biggest issues when it comes to IoT devices. Any device that connects to a network can be a potential security risk for your enterprise. IoT device manufacturers typically don’t put security as their top priority, which can cause major problems. Hackers can take advantage of the lower security capabilities of IoT devices to try and access your wireless network. If you have an IoT device connected to your wireless network, you need to treat it as seriously as any computer or phone.
Wireless IoT segmentation
Depending on the wireless deployment you have, you may be able to segment your wireless network into various subnetworks. These subnets allow your enterprise to portion out different segments of your network for separate purposes. It’s entirely possible to subnet your wireless network to provide specific IoT resources. An IoT subnet may be given extra security measures to ensure that IoT devices and data cannot be accessed by anybody but your enterprise. You can also subnet your wireless to provide higher-than-usual bandwidth usage for IoT devices.
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