Here’s an interesting blog about the Internet of Things and battlefield advances.

 

The internet of things (IoT) is advancing into the theater of war and becoming the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT).

 

Planning for the IoBT

 

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is devising ways to turn inanimate and innocuous objects, including plants and stones, into connected information gathering points. This work complements initiatives undertaken by DARPA to provide war fighters and their commanders with critical information through the innovative use of smartphones, floating sensors, and more. It also recently began working with leading universities on these initiatives.

 

According to a report from the IEEE Computer Society, the IoBT will lead to “an unprecedented scale of information produced by the network sensors and computing units.” Already overtaxed and undermanned, here are some things IT teams should consider.

 

Monitoring the Monitors

 

Ensuring the security of IoBT networks will most likely be uncharted territory for network administrators. The military will not control nontraditional IoBT sensors or their pathways (it’s hard to control a rock, for example). Also, enemies could use similar tactics and their own unorthodox devices to breach U.S. defense networks.

 

Gaining greater visibility into the devices and connections using these networks will be more important than ever. Automated tools that scan and alert to suspicious devices will likely prove invaluable to ensuring that only devices deemed secure are gaining access to their IoBT networks. Watch lists should be established to account for rogue or unauthorized devices and sensors. The goal should be to create an intelligent and automated network of devices that can respond to potential threats or service interruptions with minimal input from an operator.

 

Ready for Change

 

The 2018 SolarWinds public sector IT Trends Report found that a large portion of survey respondents ranked inadequate organizational strategy and lack of user training as barriers to network optimization. What happens when something as complex as IoBT management is thrown into the mix? We should remain cognizant that the size and complexity of these networks changes quickly—and the devices on these networks are becoming more diverse.

 

Policies and procedures should be clearly articulated to define what constitutes a potential risk and how to report it. Military IT pros can be trained and reminded about vigilance, or as the old adage goes, “If you see something, say something.” Equally important, they should know exactly who to say it to.

 

IT teams should continuously evaluate and reevaluate their tools to ensure they are adequate to address their security concerns and network complexity. Like networks, threat vectors are also evolutionary, and can change quickly. Regular testing of network tools and adjusting security protocols are important to a healthy, proactive, and robust security posture.

 

Winning the Battle

 

The IoBT may seem like something straight out of “Starship Troopers,” but it is very real, and is evolving rapidly. The IoT will likely only become more pervasive. Soon, it will hit the battlefield, so administrators can benefit from getting ahead of the challenge now.

 

Find the full article on C4ISRNET.

 

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