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Creating a Secure IoT Private Network

Question: What do the latest smart digital scales, speakers, thermostats, and ovens all have in common?

Answer: They can all be connected to and utilized over the Internet!

The IoT (Internet of Things) allows physical devices and everyday objects to be embedded with electronics and internet connectivity so that they can be remotely monitored and controlled from anywhere in the world. IoT allows individuals to remotely start their cars, lock and arm their houses, and even control household appliances.

But IoT technology is far from just a consumer benefit: this technology also presents a new way for organizations to gather data and analyze it in real time, and better interact with customers and operations. Recent studies predict that more than half of company projects and initiatives will contain an IoT component by the year 2020 — which is quite substantial, and means that organizations need to find ways to secure the sensitive data transmitted to and from these connected devices.

One of the main ways companies are securing IoT communications is by implementing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). These IoT security solutions create a secure private network over the Internet, between the connected devices and the company’s data centers — and a VPN like OpenVPN Access Server can provide you with outstanding IoT device security.

How a VPN Provides IoT Security

An organization can connect all the IT infrastructure pertaining to the IoT solution and IoT devices together into a single network — and this private network allows for secure communications between the deployed IoT devices and the infrastructure that controls or collects data from them.

With advances in cryptography, computing technology, and pervasiveness of the Internet, it is now possible to encrypt data traffic and tunnel it over the Internet to a server located in the private network. The secure tunnel creates a virtual link which extends the private network over a public network. This kind of network that makes use of public networks to provide private network connectivity is called a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

By utilizing the OpenVPN Access Server as your IoT security solution, you can create your own IoT private network to conduct and establish communications with your IoT devices securely, and you can prevent attacks that seek to alter or eavesdrop on IoT data. You can do all this while also ensuring that only authorized IoT devices can become part of your private network.

A VPN is a great solution to secure data being sent and received by the variety of devices that form the “Internet of Things.” By applying a VPN across your IoT networks, you can make those networks much more robust and secure. And any Internet-connected device can use a VPN to be a part of a private network. Devices can range from standard consumer devices like cameras to specialized industrial sensors or other operational tools.

How Companies Leverage Access Server for IoT

Take for instance Trane, a world leader in air conditioning systems, services and solutions — they control the comfort of the air for people in homes and many of the world’s largest and most famous commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Trane needed a way to securely monitor the health of critical HVAC systems all around the world, in real time.

Trane was able to do exactly that by creating a private network using our OpenVPN Access Server software and OpenVPN clients for Linux and Windows operating systems. They enabled their central monitoring center to carry out around-the-clock remote monitoring of more than four thousand of their remote telemetry locations all around the globe. Trane’s equipment installers could quickly and easily deploy our VPN Client software — plus our server supported some of their required advanced networking features along with an external MySQL database.

That’s just one example of a business using our robust, scalable VPN solution to secure its network resources and better utilize the Internet of Things.

Leverage Access Server to Better Utilize the Internet of Things

OpenVPN provides flexible VPN solutions to secure your data communications, whether it’s for Internet privacy, remote access for employees, securing IoT, or for networking Cloud data centers. Our VPN Server works as an IoT security solution, and can be deployed on-premises using standard or virtual servers, or on the Cloud.

To establish a private network access for IoT, you need to deploy Access Server and provide it connectivity to the network that houses your IoT IT infrastructure..

To deploy Access Server, you can:

Once you have Access Server, you then simply connect the IoT device via one of our clients. On mobile platforms, we have apps for Android and iOS, but you can also get started on Mac, Linux, or Windows.

TL;DR

  • As the variety and intensity of cyber threats increase, network administrators need to enable secure access to the internal network from a plethora of remote devices introduced by employees, contractors, and IoT.
  • VPN is a great solution to offer IoT device security, and safely transfer data being transmitted and received by the variety of devices that comprises the burgeoning area of the Internet of Things.
  • Any Internet-connected device can use a VPN to be a part of a private network. Devices can range from normal computing devices like laptops to specialized industrial sensors or other operational tools.

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