Remote IoT Device Management – Best Practices for Optimized Results

7th September 2021

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In a world with 7 billion connected devices, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to understand the main challenges involved in building IoT ecosystems and the best practices to overcome them. Let’s dive into how internet of everything can be a more stable reality.


Understanding IoT Device Management - Why It Matters


Essentially, IoT device management includes all the processes associated with the provisioning and authenticating, configuring, maintaining, monitoring, and diagnosing all the connected devices operating in a controlled IoT environment. These devices are expected to work at the very epitome of their functional capabilities, which is why it’s crucial that an effective and reliable device management solution is in place which can keep them connected, updated and secure.



The Fundamentals of IoT Device Management


There is a set of accepted standards and preferred practices that are involved in managing an IoT network. These standards are welcomed across all those industries where internet of things plays a crucial role.


Onboarding


It refers to the process of enrolment of devices in an IoT environment. One of the most important parts of this process is authentication which further includes methods such as device certificates. Smart and secure onboarding is crucial in giving a kick start to the entire project or enterprise and it accelerates time-to-market. Keeping security on top priority here helps avoid hostile attacks’ risks.


Configuration


Network management is not a “fire up and forget” system. All the devices in the ecosystem need to be fine-tuned beyond their default settings, or the generic pre-configuration assigned by the manufacturer. You’d want your device to be flexible and intuitive – which behaves as planned in the scope of your project, but is capable to react on its own in cases of failures.


Maintenance


In any project, you should invariably expect changes in the scope and addition of new functionalities. Security vulnerabilities and sometimes even unexpected bugs might appear suddenly. That’s why a proper maintenance plan should be designed after provisioning and configuration. You will find many firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) and software-over-the-air (SOTA) programs online which can help you navigate this step.


Diagnostics


Experts call this part “the unsung hero of IoT Device Management”. It substantially reduces the device downtime that is induced by bugs or operational issues, but it is often not considered a part of successful network management.

Diagnostics involve predictive maintenance and sophisticated analytics – it enables you to prevent failures across the ecosystem and act on them before they grow bizarre.


Roadblocks in Network Management and How to Overcome Them


The aforementioned parts of building an IoT world – they are just as much of a challenge as they are a guiding light. Let’s discuss some of the main bottlenecks faced by IoT businesses:



Security


Security of software and protection from external attacks, leaks and unwanted monitoring are some of the most vulnerable pain points in network management. IoT developers say that it’s the most threatening concerns in the ecosystem right now.

Statista says that companies across the globe will spend over $3,118 million on device security in 2021.

Security issues are so challenging because there’s a serious lack of regulations. There are guidelines like OWASP but manufacturers aren’t answerable to them. Manufacturers rarely care about these challenges, and often overlook basic malware protection.

Sometimes, people fail to acknowledge what “security” even means in IoT because there are no universal standards. This affects interpretation and sometimes leads to incompatibility between manufacturers and developers.

Security can be tightened through various ways. Developers should be sure to never use hardcoded credentials, as they’re the easiest to attack. They should check up on the APIs regularly as they are an essential entry point for outsiders. It’s considered a good practice to put identifiers on all devices, use digital certificates (for identifying public encryption keys) and use encryption (Triple DES, AES or RSA)



Data management


Internet of everything generates humongous, unprecedented volumes of data, all of which is essential to the business operations. Managing this data is a huge challenge in itself. Many organizations are now switching to cloud for managing IoT data but some still stick to on-premises options. Nonetheless, it’s important to integrate all data.

IoT data is real time, which means it constantly needs to be (re)organized at the storage facility. The current solution to time sensitivity is batch processing.

One thing organizations can do to reduce data management issues is to collect only the data they need to log and analyze and discard all extra information which is anyway making it harder to draw meaningful insights. For the same, finding the right combination of software is the key.



Device connectivity


Network traffic and the complexity of internet connectivity increases substantially with each new device added to the internet of things. Developers should be sure to scale the backend in order to accommodate them well. Some devices use wired connections, some on wireless technology, some on cellular network, and the most up-to-date ones rely on Wi-Fi technology which ensures high uptime and scalability. Remote devices usually rely on cellular connections and might account for an increase in the costs.



Remember


Server-less architecture can be a cost-efficient option but its challenging in the long term. Whatever you decision be, but if you plan to ensure secure and smooth Iot management, our technical team is glad and ready for your call.


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