IoT Security: Just One Stop on the Roadmap of Enterprise Transformation
In this series, we’ve looked at how IoT can transform healthcare and why enterprises advancing IoT solutions need to look closely at IoT security when it comes to their IoT devices and connections. IoT testing and certification can go a long way in addressing potential data vulnerabilities around IoT connections.
Securing your healthcare enterprise means making sure your data is protected at rest and in transit. It means securing all access points—internal, external and cloud. It means having the right identity and access management safeguards in place. And it means securing your machine-to-machine connections.
But securing your communication is only one part of much bigger strategy for digital transformation.
Where IoT can streamline operations and deliver meaningful data, it’s only as effective as the infrastructure it’s built upon and the degree to which that data can be leveraged to drive enterprise outcomes. Digital transformation is being driven by the need to capture, analyze and leverage enterprise and customer data from multiple sources. IoT sensors will increase not only the amount of data being generated but also the demand for business intelligence.
Integrating IoT solutions should be done with an eye on end-to-end capability. Fast, agile networks are critical to enabling timely analysis of sensor-generated data.
That means your IoT is only as effective as your network is agile. How will you address bandwidth management as demand for data increases? How will you transform that data into useable information for downstream applications? Supporting a robust IoT strategy will likely require you to virtualize, move data through the cloud and upgrade your network with flexible solutions like software-defined networking to enable you to grow with your data.
If a flexible, virtualized network can support the data demands of your sensor-driven connections, the right customer experience solutions can leverage that data in meaningful ways—to support everything from real-time clinical decision-making to remote patient monitoring to workforce enablement. Consider the data being captured and automatically analyzed by sensor-based monitoring devices and wearables. Transmitting that information quickly and securely and positioning it in the right application at the right moment in the right hands is the only way those IoT devices can actually make an impact on patient care. When smart home sensors detect a change in patient behavior or activity and that data is analyzed, transmitted securely through the cloud and then delivered to a caregiver’s tablet application, that’s how data becomes information—when it informs and shapes human response and decision-making.
In the same manner, when sensor-driven IoT devices enable automated tracking and alerting in ways that eliminate redundant manual processes, that data informs and shapes new workflows and streamlines operations.
Having a long-term roadmap for digital acceleration is critical. If you’re looking to deploy IoT solutions, you need to position that goal within the larger roadmap of where your organization is going. It starts with asking the right questions:
- Can my network support my current and future goals for growth? Can it support the data load of my IoT solutions and the demand for that data by downstream applications?
- Do I have the right security measures in place to safeguard critical data at rest and in transit, both within and outside of my organization?
- Do I need to invest in solutions that virtualize data exchange and information sharing so that I can deploy new applications quickly?
- What applications and solutions will best position the data coming from my IoT solutions to streamline my operations and enable better patient experiences?
Nothing is more integral to enterprise operations than communication—how an organization enables the free flow of information while still addressing data security and information integrity. This means architecting an ecosystem that radically reshapes how people connect to people and how people connect to information. Therefore, transforming your enterprise to become more responsive and adaptive to both threat and opportunity has to start with the fundamental infrastructure that drives communication and collaboration, from the agility of your network to the usability of your patient-experience solutions.
About the Author: Lea M. Sims, Thought Leadership Strategy, Verizon Enterprise Solutions