Wat is Identity of Things?

In 2020 there were more than 26 billion devices connected to the internet: refrigerators, solar panels, trash cans, cars and even toys. All these devices must communicate with each other, with servers and with users. This network is called the Internet of Things.

Identity of things refers to solutions that allow you to easily manage the relationships between IoT devices and people. Identity of Things creates the precondition for safe and stable communication from, to and between “things”, such as sensors, cars and solar panels.

Why Identity of Things?

The Internet of Things has endless possibilities. But connecting devices to the internet also has a downside: if you don’t do this carefully, you also make them accessible to others and this entails great risks. After all: the last thing you want is for a malicious person to take control of your car while you are driving on the highway. How do we answer the questions:

  • How do we control access to these devices and the information they contain?
  • How do we check which persons and devices are authorized to use certain functionalities?
  • How do we secure the ecosystem as a whole?

The core of the answer to these questions is the digital identity. An identity makes it possible to control access. Consider the following example: with an identity, a weather station can ask for permission to run the latest update. On the other hand, a meteorologist can remotely read the weather station to get the latest data. By focusing on identity, we can apply traditional Identity & Access Management to smart devices. This allows you, as an organization, to remain in control of who has access to the smart device, at what time and what they can do with it.

Digital Identity business drivers

Business Enablement

Whether it concerns people or devices: as an organization you want insight into all actors who have access to systems. In addition, you want to be able to see at a glance which people are communicating with which devices or how the relationship between devices relates. Identity-of-Things makes it possible to manage all different identities in one central system and to determine who has access to what. The system offers functionalities that make it easy to understand which devices the organization knows and with which other identities they have a relationship (persons or other devices). In this way you can record who owns the device and which activities can be performed with it.

 

Business Efficiency

An Identity of Things solution increases business efficiency by simplifying the registration process and management of smart devices. It is, for instance, possible to let new devices register themselves. In addition, the solution offers one central overview in which all devices are included. And as the organization and customer demand grows, the number of smart devices that your organization supplies and manages increases significantly. The solution automatically scales when the number of devices (and therefore identities) increases, eliminating the need for administrators to manually set up additional servers. The solution also offers an extensive set of APIs with which you can automate management processes.

 

User Experience

Customers who own a smart device set high standards for ease of use. In addition, personalization is becoming increasingly important: customers want to set and adapt the properties of the device to their own requirements and wishes. Users want to be able to easily change these settings, even for devices that do not have an extensive user interface such as sensors. In those cases, a control panel in the web browser can help. And in the most ideal situation, a device will adjust itself to the preferences of the user when they identify themselves with the device.

Security & Risk

A smart device is a sought-after target for hackers. They use them to carry out DDoS attacks by making the devices part of a botnet. To prevent hackers from taking over a smart device, they are provided with passwords and certificates. This presents the necessary challenges: how do you ensure that the default password is randomized and that the user can change it on first use? And how do you ensure that certificates remain up to date?

Compliance

Compliance plays an increasingly important role in Identity-of-Things. Most smart devices collect a lot of data, including confidential. Consider, for example, a smart meter: a malicious person could deduce from the data when a customer is not at home. Legislation such as the GDPR requires that customers themselves are in control of this data. When they no longer use a device, they must be able to erase the data (e.g. remotely). In addition, they must be able to (independently) delete the connection / relationship between a smart device and the user (s). An Identity of Things platform helps organizations to gain insight into the relationships between users, devices and data and to give control back to the user. You can also use modern authentication methods to secure the smart devices with which you can demonstrate that you are in line with laws and regulations.

 

Questions?
We are pleased to help.