As the number of IoT devices increases, managing them all to keep online, secure, updated with the latest firmware, and remotely available, at all times, even when deployed behind firewalls and NATs, becomes quite the task. While quite a number of solution exists to some of these problems, they all usually have challenges like; the solution addressing just one or two problems or requiring technical know-how/skills (software or hardware) that could be expensive/scarce. To provide a holistic solution to this remote device management related problems, Norway-based qbee AS, launched its platform qbee.io.
The platform, which as a venture is backed by Innovation Norway and Simula Innovations, is designed to help users achieve four major things including; remote access, security, automation, and device monitoring.
For remote access, qbee.io allows connections over SSH but it can also map any other port such as web servers on 80/443 and Node-Red on 1880 or VNC. Out of the box, qbee routes all ports through a VPN connection using https on port 443. Its remote access features always draw a comparison with the TeamViewer IoT agent which doesn’t have some of the other features.
For Security, qbee performs actions like; check firmware libraries for CVE vulnerabilities, checks if newly updated libraries are available and make suggestions on upgrades, check which users are active and how old the passwords are (people tend to forget to remove pre-configured support accounts), rotate ssh keys, and close all incoming ports (ssh is routed through VPN). All of these actions and more are combined to ensure IoT deployments stay secure.
For device monitoring, qbee.io enables full configuration management through its state-based engine or via Ansible. It allows you to monitor device health by fetching metrics via log files, which could help you monitor issues like the device’s flash running out of space due to memory leaks or other performance-related problems. It also allows you easily update libraries and software and keeps an audit log so you know accessed the system or initiated a particular change.