Launching Infrastructure Management: the Backbone of Beacons
The Bluetooth beacon market is growing as new applications are developing and existing solutions roll out at scale. With nearly one million devices managed in our backend systems, we have seen our partners test and prototype, deploy, roll-out, and expand infrastructures to support additional use cases.
Today, we are launching our Infrastructure Management suite to address the problems users face at each step of the beacon journey.
Because of our scale, the price of this is low (less than $1 per beacon per month). Because of this focus, we’re now able to make your life easier no matter where you are in the process.
Getting started or “provisioning”
After receiving your beacons, the first task is to set up the hardware and start building or integrating them into your solution. In less than one minute, your beacons can be configured with the right protocol, transmission distance, and interval.
Using our Management Apps, Gateway, or SDKs, the changes are applied from the backend and your hardware is ready to go.
Where larger volumes are required, we can make this process easier through pre-configuration and dropshipping. Where advanced systems are in place, we can handle the provisioning process entirely in the background through our APIs.
Maintaining your infrastructure and keeping it future proof
The use case is in place, the application is running, and the beacons are deployed. As with all IoT projects, the solution is only as strong as each link of the chain.
Broadly, we need to ensure three things:
- We need recognize problems with our devices when or – even better – before they occur.
- We must make maintenance cost-effective.
- We must ensure that the infrastructure is future proof.
Our Infrastructure Management suite helps you do this flexibly and efficiently. You can organize your beacons by tag and venue, bulk manage all configurations and export the data reliably in a CSV or access it at any time through our APIs.
Design your alerts when anomalies occur in your infrastructure. Anomalies such as low battery level or potentially lost beacons that haven’t been detected in a while. To make this cost-effective, all your beacons’ configurations are held in a backend designed for security at scale and flexibility. Integrating the REST API or using our SDK, the phones of your customers help you maintain an up-to-date picture of your devices as the data is fed back to the backend.
In remote and large installations you can monitor and manage your beacon fleet with our Gateway (with no license cost for the Gateway) or other access points/routers/gateways that are supported by our backend.
Finally, if you would rather focus on your own core competencies, and wish to outsource health monitoring, our Kontakt.io Customer Care service plans will get you covered.
End-to-end security from backend to device
Lastly, security. On the device level there three elements that must be taken care of:
- A backend to safely store the keys for beacon configuration.
- Secured channels for beacon interaction and handshake validation.
- Protection assuming physical access to the device.
Given our scale and capabilities, we chose to put the pieces in place for you. Our Infrastructure Management suite includes advanced military grade 128bit AES encryption supported by our Management App. The SDKs and APIs effectively preventing man-in-the-middle, device, and backend attacks.
In the past, we have learned that large deployments have their own architectural constraints and need to stay lean. That’s why the entire security solution is available through the our API as well, minimizing your reliance on external code whilst still optimizing for security.
Avoid infrastructure abuse: keep your data and infrastructure safe
Beacons pose an additional specific security risk. By design, beacons consistently announce their presence in the open. That allows mobile phones and other devices to make use of that information without power consuming two-way communication with the beacon.
The problem is that nothing prevents an attacker from recording the signal of a beacon and using it for their own purpose, malicious or otherwise. Our Infrastructure Management suite includes a simple solution. First, broadcasted signals change in regular intervals. Next, a quick dialog between the receiver and our backend provides the clear or true message to the device.
That means that any attacker might record the signal of one day, but without authorized response from our backend, the true value is unknown, leaving the attacker with a worthless recording. Again, this is included in our SDKs and APIs to make sure that your infrastructure is not appropriated.
Our Infrastructure Management suite provides you with all the required tools for each step of your beacon journey at minimal cost, and this system is squarely based on the experience of one million devices shipped and managed.