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Why IoT Matters in Physical Security


What is IoT and why does it matter? Get these answers and learn how cloud, cybersecurity, unification, and AI impact the success of your IoT journey.

Did you know that there will be a projected 30 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices in use by 2030? That’s nearly a threefold increase from the IoT installed in 2020 – and that’s a conservative estimate according to others in the industry who believe it could happen sooner.

When it comes to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Precedence Research says the global market will reach a value of $1.74 trillion USD by 2030. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 20.47% from 2022 to 2030.

Connecting sensors and systems from all areas of business, whether physical security, operations, or building infrastructure, has become the catalyst for big efficiency gains and new business insights. Because of this, implementing IIoT devices has not only become a critical business strategy, but a launchpad into a digital transformation journey.

In this blog, you’ll discover the top trends that are making it easier and safer to bring all your data together and generate meaningful outcomes. And you’ll learn some real-life examples of how organizations today use their connected Industrial Internet of Things sensors to get more from their investments.

What is IoT? What does IoT mean?

The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, represents the convergence of various sensors, devices, software, applications, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with each other over the internet or other networks.

IoT is a networked ecosystem of physical objects that are embedded with capabilities to communicate, sense, and interact with other connected technologies in the environment.

What’s the difference between IoT and IIoT?

While IoT generally relates to consumer-based connected devices, Industrial IoT (IIoT) is focused on device connectivity across a business to gain efficiencies and support operations.

In this blog post, we’ll be focusing the discussion on IIoT and how connected systems and devices are benefitting businesses.

Today, many organizations are implementing IIoT strategies to achieve specific business outcomes. For example, some businesses are merging video surveillance and access control systems with lighting and HVAC solutions to enhance automation, reduce energy consumption, and meet sustainability mandates. They’re looking closely at building management systems and building automation.

What is Industry 4.0?

Smart manufacturing and IIoT are also paving a strong path forward for what’s now termed the Internet of Things Industry 4.0. It’s a concept that marries production and operations with intelligence devices, big data, and artificial intelligence models to create a more holistic view of the business and drive smarter decisions.

Other organizations are also unifying various systems to gain more insights into their security, services, and daily operations. With that information, they’re finding new ways to become more resilient, improve processes, and enhance their customers’ experience.

While these IIoT initiatives seem more prevalent today, forward-thinking organizations have long understood the value of bringing their systems and IIoT devices together.

How the cloud and other key trends move IIoT forward

Though IIoT has always been steadily growing, the recent health crisis accelerated digital transformation on a global scale. As more people began working from home, businesses needed to enable greater connectivity to applications and secure access to information from any device or location. They needed to pivot fast and implement new connected technologies to keep business moving forward.

At the same time, the launch of 5G and the growth of cloud infrastructure set the stage for more widespread IIoT initiatives. Where 5G delivers a faster, more efficient transfer of data, cloud applications offer powerful computing, data processing, and storage from the get-go. This provides an easier and more affordable pathway to expanding existing systems, launching new applications, and sharing data across departments and sites.

Even today, the cloud continues to broaden opportunities for businesses that want greater connectivity across their Internet of Things devices. And there’s so much more flexibility in deploying new solutions while bringing all their existing investments into the IIoT environment.

For example, new cloud-connected infrastructure appliances are streamlining the transition to a hybrid-cloud architecture. This allows IT and physical security professionals to upgrade their security infrastructure and expand connectivity to various devices, data, and locations, all while keeping legacy sensors.

So where legacy equipment may have held organizations back from launching new IIoT strategies, these plug-and-play cloud appliances are bridging the gap and helping them modernize their installations. Today, cloud solutions are making it simpler, more affordable, and even more secure to bring systems and data together, and make all of it accessible from any location.

Is cloud the best way to reinforce IIoT cybersecurity?

One of the biggest concerns for organizations is IIoT cybersecurity. Why is strong cybersecurity essential for IIoT? Because as the number of connected devices increases, so do the risks for cyberattacks and data breaches. There’s no question that an organization’s main goal is to extract as much value from all the connected sensors. But the most successful outcomes also depend on how well they can build and maintain strong cybersecurity and data privacy.

Though the cloud is a main catalyst in IIoT, the long-held belief that the cloud isn’t secure simply isn’t true. In today’s world, keeping systems safe from threats is costly and complex. Usually, it requires dedicated resources, large budgets, and relentless diligence. With the right cloud solution, organizations can get many built-in cybersecurity features and tools that help automate processes and stay on top of threats.

Choosing solutions built on tier-one cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure can enhance cyber resilience. These cloud service providers invest significant amounts of time and resources in cybersecurity, upholding various standards and certifications around the world. Dedicated teams also monitor the latest threats and initiate regular third-party penetration testing and auditing. This means organizations can get a more cyber-resilient foundation across their IIoT applications.

With cloud-connected solutions, IT and security professionals get immediate access to the latest version updates and fixes. You’ll also get many built-in cybersecurity features such as encryption, authentication, privacy controls, and various system health monitoring tools. All of this helps to quickly address issues and strengthen the organization’s cyber posture.

Migrating to cloud platforms also helps IT and physical security professionals streamline maintenance. For instance, your team no longer needs to travel to various locations to manage infrastructure, handle updates, or check system health. Using the cloud, you can centralize connectivity to all your devices, systems, and sites. This allows you to monitor IIoT cybersecurity and ensure everything is hardened and running at peak performance.

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