AEP

According to RCR Wireless, an IoT AEP (application enablement platform) is a form of platform-as-a-service meant to enable a developer to rapidly deploy an IoT application or service without worrying about scale-out or scale-up factor. The primary aim of AEP is to offer foundational services (communication, data storage, management, application building and enablement, user interface security, and analytics) required to build an IoT solution from the ground up. Enterprises benefit by using a one-stop solution platform that comes bundled with all of these foundation services.

What Isn’t Working

As Machnation points out, the IoT application enablement space has continued to grow into one of the most critical technology sectors of IoT. Enterprises realize that a well-built IoT AEP saves significant development time and upfront cost in the creation and operation of an IoT solution. Typically, large enterprises with global footprint prefer to mitigate supplier risks by opting for at least two to three vendors. This helps them diversify their supplier base and reduce risk of over-dependence on any large vendor. All good so far, however, one of the root problems with this approach is in the underlying layer that addresses the end-to-end security needs. Enterprises are forced to individually invest in and develop two to three different security stacks. The primary reason is that each vendor may have their own way to address and solve the IoT cybersecurity needs. Moreover, not all the vendors would necessarily support the ability to spin microservices in real time in addition to having a uniform data analytics layer.

The Way Going Forward

The ideal security network of tomorrow is a uniform IoT cybersecurity network layer that works across all vendors while being accessible via open APIs. What if there’s an edge compute friendly, modular, security overlay network infrastructure that, despite running over an untrusted host and edge network, is multi-cloud friendly, and enables machines and things to securely connect online from dispersed locations. Such a cybersecurity network layer should be horizontally expandable and support the most prevalent requirements of edge computing today. Features such as microservices, basic firewall, identity and access credentials, etc are common across all vendors and must be foundationally built-in. Finally, any data analytics application system should be able to securely operate on top of such a horizontal security layer. Enterprises now benefit by investing one time and reusing it many times across diverse AEP vendors going forward, thereby improving on both upfront and recurring operating costs.

Key Takeaway

Industrial enterprises with dispersed assets and diverse data sources are increasingly realizing that building multiple security stacks to fit individual AEP vendor’s security needs simply does not scale. The primary reason is that this approach is not economically feasible because of sizable upfront cost as well as recurring operating cost incurred every time a new AEP vendor is stitched into the enterprise business needs. What such a digital enterprise of tomorrow needs is an identity-centric, network security based model that is akin to a global virtual LAN that runs invisibly over the untrusted public Internet. This new model helps enterprises to drastically save on upfront costs and reduce recurring operating costs by reusing the same security stack horizontally across the current and future AEP vendor solutions.

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