As demand for industrial IoT solutions increase to reduce unplanned downtime through condition-based monitoring, so does the scrutiny from IT departments for security.
What can be done if the IT department challenges you putting devices on their “corporate” network?
This corporate network is usually responsible for the day-to-day administrative processes (ERP systems, email platforms, accounting software, etc.). There are various reasons why an IT manager would not want to put industrial IoT devices on this network – almost every instance has to do with security and specifically not wanting to add possible points of entry into the corporate network.
So why not just put these on the “Guest” network?
Let’s first answer why you shouldn’t use the guest network for industrial IoT devices. The nature of a guest network is for temporary access to the internet, and almost every guest network kicks devices off after a period of time. Imagine having to reconnect all your devices every 6 or 8 hours. Not ideal!
So what options are there?
VLAN – Virtual Local Area Network
What is it?
This is a network that is partitioned or separated within an existing computer network. Most IT workers can create this network with efficiency. This allows for industrial IoT devices to be completely separate without the possibility to become an entry point into the corporate network – or take up space that might slow it down.
Why Use VLAN’s?
Placing industrial IoT devices on separate network can reduce the chance of slow communication on highly congested corporate network.
Periodically, sensitive data may be broadcasted on a network. In such cases, placing only those users who can have access to that data on a VLAN can reduce the chances of an outsider gaining access to the data. VLAN’s can also be used to control broadcast domains, set up firewalls, restrict access, and inform the network manager of an intrusion.
Having a conversation with the IT department and want backup? Have you been asked questions in the field that you would like answered?