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IOT Changing Education, But we can't forget Security!

Updated: Aug 31

by Greg Kovich



Internet of Things (IoT) innovation is becoming a critical enabler for digital transformation in further and higher education. But as colleges and universities transform to a student-centric smart campus and the number of devices surges, so do IoT security concerns.



Security and innovation


Firstly, making sure that all IoT devices are securely onboarded and assigned to the right network resources is essential.


This means that all devices can be monitored to ensure they’re working properly, and that only authorised individuals and authorised systems have access to them. This provides another layer to what we call the ‘defence in depth’ campus security strategy, minimising the institution’s exposure to cyber-attacks.

Being able to identify each IoT device is also an important element of a college or university’s security strategy.

Being able to identify each IoT device is also an important element of a college or university’s security strategy.



Defining device profiles can automate this process so that when new devices are added to the network, they are automatically recognised, classified, and assigned to their respective virtual service containers – which keeps them secure.  


Managing these devices is another important consideration. Each authorised device on an IoT network is stored in an inventory, which is a list of everything connected to the network.


This means the IT department knows how many devices are connected to the network at any one time, as well as the type of device, its serial number, exact location, and status on the network. Device management allows the network managers to make sure all IoT devices and applications are functioning as desired.





Segment for greater IoT security


Cyber security risks can also be mitigated at the device level with a layered security approach.

Cyber security risks can also be mitigated at the device level with a layered security approach.

Using policy-based rules and network profiles, devices can be properly authenticated and authorised with the right level of access, and data packet inspection, where any data moving over the network is automatically inspected and logged, ensures network traffic is constantly monitored and anomalies are addressed immediately.



Some IoT devices, such as IP cameras (an alternative to CCTV), door entry systems, fridges, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units deliver mission-critical information, requiring a certain level of quality of service (QoS). Ensuring service reliability for these devices is paramount, and needs proper bandwidth reservations to maintain service reliability. If these devices don’t have access to enough bandwidth, they can cease to work properly, or even stop working entirely, causing major problems.


The Internet of Things holds great promise for enhancing the student experience and improving the efficiency of campus operations.

The Internet of Things holds great promise for enhancing the student experience and improving the efficiency of campus operations.

Implementing a plan that automatically and securely onboards and monitors IoT traffic allows the institution to confidently invest in IoT while also be a part of the defence in depth campus security architecture.





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Originally Published at jisc.ac.uk under Create Commons License

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