For many people, IoT is a marketing term used to describe everyday objects with connections to smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, and more. Everything from autonomous cars to rainbow-farting unicorns fall under this umbrella.
But, when it comes to business and industry, this technology is in extremely high demand. This also means that the technology powering an industrial-level IoT sector needs to be reliable enough to get the job done.
After all, if your Wi-Fi connected toaster doesn’t burn the weather forecast on your toast it’s a shame. If an industrial sensor fails to report an accurate reading on the manufacturing floor, it’s a disaster.
Automation systems are as advanced as any other industrial system. They are comprised of many different parts, each requiring reliable access to power and must be in constant networked communication with one-another. Then, these systems can be safely and reliably managed by a remote operator who can then efficiently manage multiple projects at a time.
This added complexity also requires industrial-grade power management ensuring that these systems do no suffer as a result of changes in power consistency brought on by large pieces of machinery firing up.
Back-up power sources even more critical
This is where the IoT can come to the IoT’s own defense. Modern, industrial-grade uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) can come in handy. These devices include a network of sensors that constantly monitor power levels, feeding real-time information back to a remote operator and alerting them to any issues by way of an Ethernet connection directly in the company’s network.
This solution is not without its risks. Security becomes a concern here. A third party with unwarranted access to these systems could sabotage or otherwise corrupt how the UPS does its job, compromising any industrial system it is connected to.
When we think about protecting a system, something as simple as a UPS is easily overlooked as we tend to focus on the actual production systems we depend on to reliably perform the tasks we need them to perform. For someone interested in putting a proverbial wrench in the works, the UPS is an easy target. Disrupting it will have an immediate and potentially catastrophic affect on everything it is connected to.
This means that a new generation of UPS solutions needs to be created, with integrated security protocols such as password hashing and complete data encryption. They need to be as protected as any other system, and have to be designed to operate in harsh industrial environments.
When it comes to protecting a company’s key assets, the way something is powered is just as important as what it’s powering.