Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Aruba simplifies IoT adoption for enterprises

Steve Rogerson
April 11, 2019



Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has announced two offerings to help enterprises simplify the adoption of IoT.
 
First, ClearPass Device Insight delivers a single pane of glass for device visibility employing automated device discovery, machine learning based fingerprinting and identification. Secondly, the Aruba 530 and 550 series access points extend the family of 802.11ax Wifi 6 IoT-ready access points.
 
Together, these allow enterprises to remove IoT security and connectivity barriers, while decreasing associated operational costs and complexities.
 
When addressing their IoT strategies, organisations globally are faced with new security and connectivity challenges. There are more than 14 million connected devices being added to the network every day. The explosion of these vastly different and unpredictable device types renders manual device profiling techniques inadequate and makes automation a key requirement for securing IoT.
 
To add to the complexity, many IoT devices are often connected to disparate overlay networks that typically support only one type of connectivity, such as wifi, Bluetooth or Zigbee.
 
ClearPass Device Insight uses machine learning and crowdsourcing to automate the discovery and fingerprinting of all connected devices and IoT devices on any wired or wifi network regardless of vendor. Technology from Aruba’s Data Science Laboratory leverages custom-built deep packet inspection to create behavioural profiles that enable precision fingerprinting.
 
The cloud delivery platform leverages shared community learnings to identify newly introduced devices. Used with ClearPass Policy Manager and the firm’s dynamic segmentation security capabilities, IT teams can automate authentication and policy enforcement down to the device and user level, applying different access policies or rules based on the role designated for the device. If any device exhibits abnormal behaviour, ClearPass can automatically quarantine or remove it from the network.
 
The closed-loop approach eliminates blind spots and provides IT teams with automated and intelligent security for visibility into this massive volume and variety of devices to the corporate network, often without IT oversight. Comprehensive details about each device, including manufacturer, device location, ports and protocols used, application destinations, and traffic volume are all available on the single-pane-of-glass management platform for complete IoT visibility and control.
 
“Being able to easily identify the growing number of wired and wireless IoT device types on our network, without interfering with sensitive medical equipment, is critical to our security and compliance goals,” said Kevin Rothstein, network engineer for Sharp Healthcare. “We are evaluating Aruba’s ClearPass Device Insight to help us discover and fingerprint all connected devices on a large scale. When integrated with ClearPass Policy Manager, we will have powerful closed-loop policy enforcement down to each device.”
 
Aruba has also expanded its portfolio of 802.11ax IoT-ready access points to address growing wireless performance requirements as well as accelerate the adoption of IoT.
 
When organisations consolidate multiple networks onto a single, converged infrastructure, IT teams can reduce complexity and improve return on investment when executing their IoT strategy. A converged network simplifies IoT onboarding through automated endpoint discovery and provides a common policy framework for mobile devices, users and things.
 
Like the 510 series announced in November 2018, the 530 and 550 series APs eliminate the need for IoT gateways and the resulting complicated network management requirements, helping IT teams connect a diverse set of IoT devices and sensors that use different protocols. The support of wifi, Bluetooth 5 and Zigbee protocols on the APs allow organisations to connect with 74% of today’s IoT devices.
 
“As a leading producer of baked goods for the quick service restaurant and C-store industry in the USA and 20 countries globally, we have a strong need to simplify connectivity for our growing set of wireless IoT devices, from inventory sensors to handheld scanners,” said Eric Spille, manager of technical services for Bama Companies. “Aruba’s new Wifi 6 access points with integrated Bluetooth 5 and Zigbee will provide us with a converged platform for IoT which could greatly reduce the complexity and cost of managing multiple networks and infrastructure appliances.”
 
An added benefit of the 530 and 550 APs is that Wifi 6 offers improved battery life for battery-powered IoT devices. The protocol allows IoT devices to remain inactive until data need to be transmitted. As a result, battery-powered IoT devices realise a significant power savings, reducing the maintenance windows for IT staff. The efficiency improvements in Wifi 6 amount to a faster performing and more efficient infrastructure as well as an enhanced experience for all the clients on the network.
 
ClearPass Device Insight will begin initial customer shipments this month with a one-year subscription cost starting at $1260 for 100 devices. The 530 and 550 APs will also be available this month. The base US list price is $1495 for the 530 and $1895 for the 550.
 
“Pervasive enterprise digital transformation efforts are dramatically expanding the attack surface, leading organisations to face even more cyber-security challenges than ever before,” said Bill Buckalew, vice president of partner sales for Optiv. “Technologies such as Aruba’s ClearPass Device Insight, which automates device discovery and fingerprinting across the entire infrastructure, are an important component of an inside-out approach, which starts with the core requirement of every enterprise – risk mitigation – and builds out from there with customised strategy, infrastructure rationalisation and operations optimisation, on-going measurement, and communication.”
 
He said that with a risk-centric foundation in place, enterprises could close vulnerability gaps and respond to new threats in a proactive, systematic way.
 
“We look forward to further expanding our partnership and achieving continued significant growth with Aruba this year and beyond,” said Buckalew.
 
Wally Alicea, senior architect at Integration Partners, added: “Our customers are struggling to manage huge volumes of connected devices, with new devices being added to the network daily. We see this in large educational institutions, where they have a large set of student and faculty devices being combined onto the same infrastructure with building sensors and connected educational tools. Aruba’s ClearPass Device Insight helps IT staff manage this device growth in a more secure and compliant way by automating discovery and profiling and then linking that to a security policy that takes into account every single connected device.”