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What Is Zero-Touch Onboarding for IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) presents new severe security challenges, with more emerging as the scope and scale of IoT systems ramps up. At present, many IT managers have responded by requiring manual provisioning of all IoT devices to ensure a secure network environment. This method is preferable to the costs incurred by a security breach. Still, it bears a substantial expense in time, effort and lost revenue given how slow it is, particularly when applied to a massive international deployment.

One emerging solution that offers a useful tradeoff between security and business outcomes is zero-touch onboarding. Zero-touch onboarding allows IoT devices to be configured with settings stored in a central source. Once a device’s image appears on the network, its configuration settings are automatically installed without any need for an engineer to intervene. It gives deployment operators a much faster onboarding method while minimizing its attack surface.

Advantages of Zero-Touch Onboarding

Zero-touch onboarding solves one of the critical security issues with IoT devices: default login and passwords that users either don’t or can’t change and that make devices especially vulnerable to attacks. The need for passwords can be eliminated. Zero-touch onboarding can also play a significant role in maintaining privacy at the user end. It allows devices to be authenticated while also remaining anonymous, meaning that attackers cannot access endpoint authentication information.

Zero Touch Onboarding

Automating device configurations also reduces deployment management complexity and proneness to errors, very appealing features as the number of devices grows to the hundreds, thousands and beyond. With manual onboarding, business utilization of the device must wait for installation and manual configuration, then wait for IT on the backend to accept each device’s credentials and connect each one individually to its servicing system or cloud. With zero-touch onboarding, devices can be ready to run in seconds once they’re powered up. They can be updated regularly and in large batches by deployment administrators, ensuring that they always have the latest security patches installed.

A trusted onboarding service, such as Telit OneEdge™, can provide centralized device management, monitoring and troubleshooting for all IoT devices on a deployment. The savings in time and expense can translate to significant ROI while maintaining critical network security protocols. Remote, automated device configuration simplifies installation and allows for the rapid, wide deployment of IoT devices. Deployments can be rapidly scaled up with little difficulty while maintaining system-wide protection. The benefits of automation, reduced complexity and considerable savings in money, time and effort with the benefit of a secure network make zero-touch onboarding a must-have solution for IoT provisioning challenges faced by all but very small deployments.

Why Telit?

Telit OneEdge is a full-suite enterprise IoT deployment management solution offering IT and OT administrators access to centralized device and connectivity management software, advanced edge processing capabilities, and best-in-class end-to-end security.

Contact us today to learn how  OneEdge can be integrated into your design.