Openness and security can go hand-in-hand to support IIoT

Robert Jones: vice president of Product and Sales at Netsnapper

As organisations grapple with the complexities of securing industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications across multiple bearers, Robert Jones, vice president of Product and Sales at Netsnapper and Dan Caton, the partner manager at Wireless Logic Group, explain how new approaches can achieve both high security and the openness needed for IIoT to flourish.

IoT Now: What are the challenges of reconciling the conflicting demands of security with maintaining openness in IIoT? To what extent are compromises necessary?

Robert Jones: A lot of people are getting into IIoT and as that happens different companies are entering the market. On one hand you have companies, like Wireless Logic, that know endpoint connectivity but there are also enterprise players that know enterprise virtual private networks (VPNs) and application management. These two worlds have been operating separately and are coming together now but the enterprise people don’t necessarily understand the complexity of the connectivity world.

The security approach is different, too. Usually in a secure enterprise you use a private access point name (APN) – integrators will have a private APN with an operator – and it usually takes one to three months to deploy a new APN. It’s therefore a big cost and only the SIM cards from that operator are secure. People are left to try and secure their VPNs with that.

With openness, there’s a lot of benefit and value in having things publically addressable on the Internet but this can represent a security risk. We, however, can supply addressable IPv6 addresses to every device and openness can be enabled securely using configurable encryption for backend data analytics from specific devices, for example.

IoT Now: What methods and technologies are being adopted to achieve openness in secure IIoT environments?

RJ: We’re using software defined networking (SDN) to cut across different bearer types and within our software we’re providing configurable, up to 384 bit, encryption. We’re also looking at quantum technology to enable us further in future. The other thing opening up these networks for use in IIoT is IPv6. It’s been talked about for ten years but it’s really needed now because public IPv4 Internet addresses are running out.

Another benefit is that we can provide a bridge between IPv4 and IPv6. We have that futureproof piece today and can assign different addresses to endpoints.

IoT Now: So how does Netsnapper help?

RJ: With a partner like Wireless Logic we can secure the whole network. In addition to the capabilities I’ve mentioned earlier, if you want maintenance staff to have a view of certain parts of the network we allow policy management and encryption to devices to enable a person-tomachine (P2M) secure policy layer.

IoT Now: Dan, how is Wireless Logic utilising Netsnapper’s solutions?

Dan Caton: Wireless Logic is currently exploring many markets and applications where cloudbased Netsnapper can enhance our own secure infrastructure solutions, importantly bringing in its core modules at the earliest stage of connectivity planning. As a horizontal provider, this means that we are exposed to multiple verticals, many of which might employ facets or indeed the majority of Netsnapper’s core tools.

For our clients in the IoT space, we see a number of important wins by integrating the Netsnapper solution. But in all cases, Netsnapper plays into the existing strengths of the Wireless Logic connected ecosystem – delivering more security through Software Closed User Groups, enabling rapid speed to market, creating more seamless and reliable connectivity solutions and bandwidth management, and optimising expenditure through more efficient use of data management and analytics.

In terms of implementation, the Netsnapper servers can be deployed within a customer’s own datacentre. However, they are more typically cloud-hosted enabling the Netsnapper capabilities to be utilised across multiple network types such as 4G and ADSL. The solution can scale to hundreds or even thousands of connections enabling us to build mesh networks, and enable office locations or remote workers to seamlessly interact with IoT devices in addition to cloud and office-based services.

In a short amount of time, we’ve worked intensely with Netsnapper to create a seamless and integrated solution alongside the Wireless Logic NetPro infrastructure to deliver a quick-toimplement and scalable solution. This meeting of minds creates new and important opportunities for our connected work within enterprise networking – with a focus on ease of system integration and system manageability. Early reaction to this enhanced offering has been very positive.

Dan Caton: the partner manager at Wireless Logic Group

IoT Now: What do you see as the key benefits?

DC: For us, Netsnapper will create enhancements across the IoT and telecoms industry. We envisage applications that have high data usage such as network failover taking advantage of data compression – managing the aggregation of data is critically important within business use cases where the potential to go above data thresholds can mean punitive overage costs. By utilising its optimisation tools, we see multiple data-hungry applications being able to restructure their business models, with more reassurance in terms of usage outcomes.

Switching between networks and bearer services seamlessly is also beneficial to a growing number of applications – especially where enterprises are increasingly moving core services to the cloud – including services such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) using hosted private branch exchanges (PBXs) – a shift that will only continue to accelerate. Whilst the reliability of bearer services continues to improve, any loss of service can have massive consequential impact. By implementing Netsnapper onto the hardware or router, more applications will start to rethink their failover strategies – leading to more confidence in their own connected solutions and the ability to push their applications further with more emphasis on guaranteed uptime and performance.

Network security continues to be a priority for our customers – although many still use public static IP addresses to enable engineers or alarm receiving centres (ARCs) to access remote devices such as CCTV cameras. However, with Netsnapper we can enable the creation of multibearer closed user groups – by adding a client to each end point and providing the option to further secure the data in transit with the latest level of encryption – secure hash algorithm 2 (SHA-2).

This closed user group functionality is also a way to securely enable SIM-to-SIM communications, something we have enabled for utility companies enabling sensors, actuators and platform to communicate to each other as a mesh of devices rather than simply device to platform.

IoT Now: How are you planning on pushing the end offering to market?

DC: One of Wireless Logic’s unique selling points is delivering a total connectivity solution from early-stage bearer recommendation through to facilitation. This encompasses airtime, management platform, infrastructure and increasingly, the supporting hardware. We are building Netsnapper into our connected hardware offering and integrating Netsnapper tools onto market-leading routers.

We can now deliver improved security, compression, speed, mobility and cost-savings. Across a growing range of sectors such as electronic point of sale (EPoS) within retail, enterprise failover, mobile workforces and CCTV, we are changing the way customers think about their connected applications with a single integrated solution across multiple devices and bearers. With Netsnapper alongside Wireless Logic’s NetPro infrastructure, we can take an enhanced offering to market with an array of features – and all delivered on a cost-effective opex basis.

RECENT ARTICLES

SiTime expands addressable market with its new precision timing solution for autonomous vehicles

Posted on: September 30, 2022

Santa Clara, United States. 27 September, 2022 – SiTime Corporation, a provider in precision timing, introduced a new automotive oscillator family, based on SiTime’s advanced MEMS technology. The new differential oscillators are 10x more resilient and ensure reliable operation of ADAS across extreme road conditions and temperatures. The launch of the new automotive oscillator, AEC-Q100 SiT9396/7,

Read more

Semtech’s LoRa devices featured in Kiwi Technology gas metering solution

Posted on: September 30, 2022

Camarillo, United States. 29 September, 2022 – Semtech Corporation, a global supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, announced that Kiwi Technology, an advanced internet of things (IoT) turn-key solutions and data analytics provider, is using Semtech’s LoRa devices for its new third party class B network control unit (NCU) that connects gas meters

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox