Industrial IoT More Than Tags and Sensors

double exposure of hand showing Internet of things (IoT) word diThe industrial Internet of Things (IoT) relies on more than just RFID tags and smart sensors: An entire infrastructure of reliable networks and powerful analytics tools will be needed to make the industrial IoT work. In a recent article over at IoT blog site Readwrite, Jason Andersen, vice president of business line management at Stratus Technologies, has outlined some of the ways companies must respond to the complexity of the industrial IoT. As Andersen writes, “bigger problems with more expensive equipment require bigger solutions with more intricate, more connected technology.”

Challenges for Industrial IoT

Many manufacturing operations are running older operational equipment and new information technology separately, but that may be unsustainable. The industrial IoT brings those two worlds together, but requires a new type of infrastructure that is virtualized, easy to use, and always on. It also requires standards and better IT security.

Early adopters are already seeing benefits, and moving to take these systems to the next level. However, there are also new challenges. This type of connectivity makes the consequences of a network failure even more catastrophic. It also makes industrial companies more vulnerable to hackers or privacy breaches.

General Electric’s Predix business is wrestling with many of these challenges and concerns. In an interview with Silicon Angle, GE’s Jeremiah Stone outlined some potential approaches. The company is combining artificial intelligence with machine learning to apply statistical principles to the data gathered by IoT-connected equipment to make it more useful, for example.

IoT security can often easily be ensured by taking basic steps. A recent report form the Online Trust Alliance found that 100% of all the IoT security failures reported between November 2015 and July 2016 could have been avoided by taking a more serious approach to security.

“I wasn’t surprised, but somewhat disappointed that so many of the basics continue to be overlooked,” OTA executive director and president Craig Spiezle told NextGov.

OTA has created an IoT Trust Framework, which includes practices such as ensuring that patches and software revisions come from trusted sources, something that companies often fail to do.

“Security starts from product development through launch and beyond,” Spiezle said. “If businesses do not make a systemic change, we risk seeing the weaponization of these devices and [further] erosion of consumer confidence impacting the IoT industry on a whole due to their security and privacy shortcomings.”

To learn more about the industrial IoT and RFID’s role within it, visit our website.

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