Internet of Things Raises Network, Security Concerns
Such a rise in the number of intelligent connected devices—and data flowing from and between them—not only is causing network concerns, but also worries around security and privacy. It's difficult enough protecting the 10 billion or so (according to Cisco) connected devices already in the market. Adding another 40 billion over the next six years will increase the threat landscape and give cyber-criminals a much larger number of targets. According to the Infoblox survey, while 63 percent see the IoT as a network security issue, another 37 percent believe such concerns are little more than hype. Liu disagreed. "With so many objects and IP addresses being added, it's important for network teams to keep track of what's on their network at any given point, and also to bear in mind all these objects and IP addresses are potential weak links in an organization's IT infrastructure," Liu said. As IT professionals saw with the rise of BYOD, the IoT will make it difficult for them to keep up with the devices that are being added to their businesses' networks. Fifty-six percent of respondents said it's difficult for IT managers to control where IoT deployments are being made, and 45 percent said they don't get enough information from line-of-business officials regarding deployments. However, 74 percent said their businesses have integrated IoT business plans.
What IT leaders can do now to get ready for the IoT is to make sure they are part of the early planning for IoT deployments, before any buying decisions are made. They also can rework network access policies to ensure that new devices and systems connecting don't endanger network resources or security, ensure network tasks are automated when possible, and deploy or expand their IPv6 plans to ensure that the shortage of IPv4 addresses doesn't slow down their efforts around the Internet of things.