Aruba flexes some IoT muscle

Aruba’s new solutions position the company well to help customers make IoT deployments scalable and secure

Aruba flexes some IoT muscle

The Internet of Things (IoT) is heating up and will be a hot trend in 2017. And Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, plans to be a part of it. 

The company has been active in the IoT industry by providing Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT endpoints and security through its ClearPass product. However, it has never put together a comprehensive IoT story that spans its portfolio.

Last week at the HPE Discover Conference, though, Aruba announced several new products to position itself as a strong IoT enabler. The new solutions include security tools, wired switches and new partnerships.

The announcements are well timed by Aruba, as we should see IoT deployments ramp significantly next year. I’ve seen many predictions trying to forecast the economic impact of IoT, with numbers ranging from $3 trillion to $19 trillion. The actual number doesn’t really matter. The fact is that IoT is rapidly becoming the norm and will eventually become part of our everyday lives.

ClearPass Universal Profiler automatically discovers IP-enabled IoT Devices

One of its new products is the ClearPass Universal Profiler, which automatically discovers and fingerprints all IP-enabled IoT devices, whether they are managed or unmanaged, and works on multi-vendor wired or wireless networks. The automated discovery and profiling capabilities are crucial for IT to be able to manage and secure IoT. Relying on manual processes doesn’t work because many IT organizations have little to no visibility into what IoT endpoints have been deployed. In fact, ZK Research found that 50 percent of IT departments have little to no confidence that they are aware of all the IoT devices connected to the network.  

The information from ClearPass can be used for performance and security tuning, and the data can be shared with ClearPass Exchange partners to provide behavior analytics, deception intelligence and firewall security. If the business needs policy management, it can use the Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager to enable automatic authentication and policy enforcement after devices are found and fingerprinted. Any device that shows unusual behavior can then be automatically removed to minimize the risks to the network.

New Aruba 2540 series switch

Aruba also rolled out the new 2540 series switch with some enhancements to its operating system, ArubaOS. The new switch is IoT-optimized by providing power and security at the edge of the network. The switch includes some new features that enable unified, role-based access with the ability to assign roles to connect and secure IoT devices. The 2540 also supports Zero Touch Provisioning and cloud management to reduce the operational overhead associated with running a network.

Aruba adds IoT partners to ClearPass Exchange partner ecosystem

Lastly, Aruba has expanded its ClearPass Exchange partner ecosystem with the addition of two IoT partners. Attivo Networks provides deception-based technologies for in-network threat detection, forensic analysis and continuous threat response. Attivo’s solution is badly needed today, as ZK Research data shows that 80 percent of breaches now occur on the internal network. IoT deployments will certainly drive that number up.

The other new partner is Niara, a solution provider of user- and entity-behavior analytics. The Niara platform also focuses on the internal network by using analytics to find compromised users, hosts and devices, as well as negligent employees and malicious insiders.

Companies have been experimenting with IoT over the past few years, but the industry now sits on the precipice of seeing deployments going deeper and wider within companies. The foundation of IoT is connectivity, and Aruba’s new solutions position the company well to help customers make deployments scalable and secure.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.