Keeping track of all the IoT devices on a network, ensuring they are secure and operating correctly are critical -- and challenging -- activities. IoT monitoring tools simplify keeping devices updated with the latest software and firmware, automatically provide status information and identification, and are part of a larger cybersecurity strategy.
IT administrators can deploy and use IoT monitoring tools on their own or in conjunction with IoT analytics applications, security software, and identity and access management platforms.
Features to look for in IoT monitoring software
Remote monitoring of IoT devices is a must; devices are often deployed in inaccessible or hard-to-reach locations. It's not practical or economical to send IT teams on location to physically inspect or monitor the devices. It's also not a good use of time to have them switch between several monitoring applications to check in on the various devices. An IoT monitoring application with remote monitoring capabilities eliminates the extra work and centralizes the information IT teams need to do their work.
Automated discovery and alerting
Automation for IoT device monitoring doesn't need to be sophisticated. Setting baseline performance limits that trigger alarms when an IoT device crosses the threshold is enough. This level of automation reduces the workload for IT teams by engaging them only when there is a true issue that requires their attention. Most monitoring software comes with default performance thresholds that IT can use as they are or tweak them to meet their environment's needs.
Whether they're connected through a private network or the internet, IoT devices can be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers can take advantage of default device passwords to enter a network and then move about at will. Many companies fail to change these default passwords because there are so many devices to manage. They might not be aware of the devices at all, or their security processes might mistakenly ignore IoT devices. An IoT monitoring application reduces this risk because it finds and identifies every connected device, monitors performance 24/7 and has the ability to force regular password updates.
Free trial to assess suitability
Many IT teams rely on the free monitoring tools distributed by IoT device manufacturers. The market for IoT-specific monitoring tools isn't well developed, and many organizations hesitate to pay for one. However, free tools are sometimes poorly designed; they're often more of a marketing tool than a true tech tool. A free trial of a paid application can help IT teams understand whether an IoT monitoring tool is suitable for their tech stack, processes and infrastructure.
IoT monitoring software options to consider
AWS IoT Device Management
AWS IoT Device Management is a specialized module in the Amazon family of cloud services. It's easy to set up, and it's accessible via a web browser. It can handle bulk and individual IoT device registration, and it groups devices to make monitoring and updating more efficient. It also offers superior intrusion prevention and detection. AWS prices by number of devices and usage.
Splunk for Industrial IoT
Splunk for Industrial IoT was designed for industrial markets but is useful for any industry. It uses built-in machine learning and AI features to predict performance and device health and enforce security. It offers a wide range of integrations, and it scales easily across enterprise-sized networks. It's available for a 60-day free trial as part of Splunk Enterprise.
Datadog IoT Monitoring
Datadog IoT Monitoring is a cloud-based infrastructure monitoring suite with specialized features for IoT device monitoring. It is SaaS-based and includes high-level security across all transmissions. It also maintains two-way encrypted communications with all devices. It supports device autodiscovery and updates network topology in real time as needed. Flexible pricing options let customers scale their IoT monitoring. Datadog offers a free 14-day trial for an unlimited number of devices.
Domotz is another cloud-based IoT device monitoring application with a long list of features. It uses highly encrypted connections with all monitored devices and integrates with a wide range of other tools, including those that managed service providers use. It offers a simple but effective dashboard that is easy to use and includes extensive security scanning, such as VPN on demand and perimeter network security scanning. It's available without a contract, and organizations can test it out with a 21-day free trial.