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SAP takes steps to ensure IoT security is top priority: the future of IoT in business

Christina Mercer | Jan. 5, 2016
The company wants to ensure cooperation not only on standards but on security protocol.

The German software firm has been busy building out its IoT capabilities, and has also looked to support the wider IT industry in ensuring that the masses of data flowing across networks is protected.

"[Security is] probably the number one priority on our minds and our counterparts...That's why we all invested in the Industrial Internet Consortium. To make sure that we all collaborate on standards, but also collaborate on security protocol", says David Parker.

The Industrial Internet Consortium is a body that provides guidelines for best practices for businesses targeting the Internet of Things.

Around 140 companies have partnered with the Industrial Internet Consortium and can benefit from sensor/IoT device testbeds, progress reports and a code of conduct which incorporates security best practices.

"Now we're actually making that more readily-available to the likes of you and I in the consumer market so you have to have that highest degree of security," he adds.

Last month SAP announced partnerships with leading security companies to provide 'end-to-end secure IoT solutions'. These partnerships include Certified Security Solutions (CSS), Check Point Software Technologies, azeti Networks AG and Intel.

CSS aims to provide a secure passage for data transfer and data encryption while Check Point Software Technologies provides protection against malware. azeti Networks AG and Intel will provide analytics and insight from data being delivered to the cloud.

SAP Hana to support IoT applications

One of the central components of SAP's IoT proposition is its in-memory data base platform, Hana. By speeding the handling of business data, SAP expects Hana to be suited towards deploying and managing real-time connected devices and machine-to-machine applications.

"It was the rising of making information readily available in real-time to our customers that prompted us to look at the way that we created our own applications" says Parker.

"Our true vision of IoT is to look at the data coming from the device or the component, anything that has a sensor. Augment that with weather data, social data, e-commerce data, sales data, point of sales data etc... to provide real insight."

One example is how SAP uses historical data analysis to see if a fault has occurred and instigate a workflow process to have a service engineer turn up on site to repair that faulty component before it even breaks.

"We have the content to describe and understand what that aspect is, either the piece of equipment or machinery in terms of its lifespan. When was it purchased? When was its last service? What's its health status? Who are the service providers?" Parker says.

This automated decision-making in essence turns predictive analytics into an Internet of Things service.

What's the future of IoT for business?


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