Tech companies of every stripe are staking their claim to the internet of things, and networking vendors like Aruba are no exception. But to hear co-founder and president Keerti Melkote tell it, his company\u2019s pitch might have a little more heat on it than others.\nAruba\u2019s IoT credentials are based on a relatively simple premise \u2013 by definition, IoT devices have to be on the network, and they\u2019re one of the bigger fish in that particular pool.\n\nThe company has a lot of experience in onboarding devices \u2013 hard-won during the era of BYOD, covering provisioning, credentials, privilege levels and monitoring \u2013 which translates well to the world of IoT, particularly given the urgent need to secure those devices.\n\u201cSecurity for IoT is the number one issue right now,\u201d Melkote said in an interview. A lot of what makes up enterprise IoT \u2013 as opposed to consumer IoT or industrial IoT \u2013 is smart building tech, including physical security, lighting, HVAC and more. These are areas traditionally owned by the facilities section of a business, not IT.\n\u201cWhat IT does is give them a network drop and say \u2018have at it,\u2019\u201d said Melkote. \u201cThat\u2019s about it.\u201d\nConsequently, many of those devices are on the network, but aren\u2019t secured. \u201cA great target for a hacker,\u201d he noted.\nRegulatory progress \u2013 in particular, the European Union\u2019s General Data Protection Regulation that\u2019s weeks away from taking full effect \u2013 is adding impetus to the company\u2019s drive toward better security and privacy controls, he says. GDPR requires businesses to protect the personal data included in transactions that take place inside the EU.\n\u201cI think GDPR will become a global thing. As a vendor we are accountable to GDPR issues, and that sets the bar. So now, I might as well go global with it,\u201d said Melkote.\nSince Aruba has to do business in those jurisdictions, it\u2019ll comply with the applicable laws, so the effect of something like GDPR might be to improve IoT security conditions worldwide, not just in Europe.\nWhat that means for Aruba is that the company is going to have to use its existing expertise while learning new tricks, aided by corporate parent HPE. First on the list is adding deeper analysis capabilities to the company\u2019s repertoire, and doing it not in the data center, but at the edge, via more capable endpoints and hub devices.\n\u201cAll these IoT devices are generating data of some sort \u2013 they\u2019re all sensors \u2013 and you want to crunch the data closer to the device in many cases, simply because it\u2019s controlling some equipment,\u201d Melkote said. \u201cWhen you\u2019re controlling, real-time responses become very important.\u201d\nFor consumer IoT, you don\u2019t need a lot of edge computing \u2013 smart home gizmos and the like are all essentially cloud front-ends. But it\u2019s a different story when you\u2019re talking about enterprise and industrial IoT applications.\n\u201cThe IoT opportunity becomes an all-in infrastructure opportunity,\u201d Melkote said. \u201cYou need to have the network, you need to have the compute, you need to have the storage. And then you need to have the software.\u201d\nMelkote admitted that it\u2019s been a challenge to move into the IoT space, where a certain degree of specialist knowledge of a given vertical \u2013 successful medical IoT, for example, requires expertise in the medical technology field \u2013 but that partnerships have proven key to addressing this.\nThese include partners in building controls, medical pumps, asset tracking, mobile communications and video distribution, among others.\n\u201cWe end up occupying more the IT infrastructure landscape, with the OT stuff, the domain expertise, coming from our partners,\u201d he said.