Access management is critical to IoT success

With Aerohive's secure access management solution, A3, administrators can manage the lifecycle of all devices, including IoT devices, on the network.

Access management is critical to IoT success

Onboarding devices has always been kind of a pain, but IT has managed to muddle its way through the process.

The bring your own device (BYOD) wave hit created some problems. Still, many organizations allowed employees to bring those devices onto the network by shifting the responsibility to the end user. 

What happens, though, when there are so many new devices that IT can’t keep up? Or when devices are brought in without IT’s knowledge? That’s the trend businesses are about to face as the Internet of Things (IoT) goes mainstream.

The IoT era is here, and it’s about to make IT’s life a lot more difficult

The IoT era has arrived, and I say this because more and more companies I talk to are connecting non-traditional IT devices, such as lighting systems and point-of-sale devices, to the internet without uttering the phrase “IoT.” It’s no longer this futuristic thing that we ponder and pontificate over.

Companies are connecting things to improve productivity, efficiency, or customer experience. That means IT needs to find a way to adapt because manually onboarding devices, checking operating systems, and securing them is far too slow. And if IT doesn’t change, they’ll fall behind and hold the business back.

Use access management to stay in control of devices

This where access management comes in. Think of it as an automated system that can discover a device, bring it on the network, and secure it. And the best way to deploy access management is to make it part of the edge network because the edge is point of entry for many devices today.

This week Wi-Fi vendor Aerohive started shipping its own secure access management solution — A3. It's a complete suite of tools that enable administrators to manage the lifecycle of devices. And it's vendor agnostic, working with any network infrastructure.

Specifically, Aerohive's A3 includes the following:

  • Device profiling that can identify the endpoint, model, operating system, and other attributes.
  • Authentication and registration via a wide range of options, including certificates, single sign-on, Active Directory and by Q3 Aerohive’s private pre-shared key (PPSK). The system also handles guest onboarding using captive web portal (CWP), social login, Hotspot 2.0, and sponsorship.
  • Compliance checking of devices, including OS versions, anti-virus status and other features. A3 will quarantine devices that do not comply with company standards.
  • Device management through the use of agents for Windows and Android and APIs for MacOS and iOS.
  • Billing integration for managed service providers. The CWP integrates into four transaction processing systems.
  • Network access control (NAC) via third-party firewalls, routers and other security devices, as well as role-based access (RBAC).

A3 will be initially available as an on-premises solution, but by the end of the year, customers will have the option to purchase it as a cloud service with public or private deployment models. Aerohive has priced the product aggressively. The solution will have a base price of $9,999, plus a tiered fee based on the number of devices connected that starts as low as $7,000 for 1,000 devices on a one-year term. Three- and five-year terms are also available.

There isn't a company out there that does not struggle with onboarding devices and ensuring network security isn’t compromised. With IoT, the problem will get significantly more difficult, as more devices will be connected more often. Manual processes just won’t cut it; it's too much and can overwhelm the IT organization.  Aerohive’s A3 gives customers a vendor-agnostic set of tools that can automate the entire process, which cuts down on errors and reduces risk. 

Note: Aerohive is a client of ZK Research. 

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