The importance of lifecycle management of IoT and OT devices

Mike Guigli
Mike Guigli
Jul 5, 2023

As the world embraces the transformative potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT), organizations are increasingly incorporating these devices into their infrastructure. However, successful implementation and operation of IoT and OT devices require a comprehensive lifecycle management strategy. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of lifecycle management for IoT and OT devices and discuss key considerations for ensuring efficiency and security throughout their lifecycle.

Device Onboarding

The lifecycle management of IoT and OT devices begins with device onboarding. This initial phase involves the registration, authentication, and provisioning of devices onto the network. It is crucial to establish secure communication channels, validate device integrity, and assign unique identifiers to ensure proper device identification and control.

In many organizations, device owners will connect a new device to the network without prior approval, leaving the security team in a reactive position. However, the problem isn’t defiance. The real challenge is creating a customized onboarding process that works for varying operational complexities. One way we help customers solve this at Perygee is through the use of native forms and custom automations. Forms enable security teams to establish a mandatory information collection process that is seamlessly integrated with their asset inventory. Forms can also trigger an automation that cross-checks the information submitted, saving security teams countless hours and speeding up the overall approval process. For example, you may have a list of approved device manufacturers and every time a new device form is submitted, an automation runs to check if the manufacturer is on the approved list. If it is, an instantaneous approval can be sent to the device owner. If it isn’t, the security team can be notified for further investigation.

A 'New OT Device Form' in Perygee's platform showcasing a customized onboarding process

During device onboarding, organizations should also define policies and procedures for updating and maintaining device firmware and software. This allows for consistent performance improvements, bug fixes, and security patches throughout the device's operational life.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Once devices are onboarded, continuous monitoring and maintenance is essential. Real-time monitoring enables organizations to track device health, collect data, identify anomalies, and proactively address issues. It involves monitoring metrics such as device connectivity, utilization, and network traffic to ensure operational efficiency and reliability.

Regular maintenance tasks include updating firmware, applying security patches, and conducting periodic inspections. A centralized security platform like Perygee can help facilitate the monitoring and maintenance process by providing a holistic view of the device landscape, enabling organizations to streamline operations, and responding promptly to critical events.

A 'Patching Dashboard' in Perygee's platform showing asset-specific firmware update and patching information

Security and Privacy

Security and privacy are paramount in the lifecycle management of IoT and OT devices. As these devices become pervasive, they present attractive targets for cyberattacks. Organizations must implement robust security measures to protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and tampering.

Secure device provisioning, strong authentication mechanisms, and encryption protocols should be implemented to safeguard communication between devices and the network. Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments help identify potential weaknesses and enable organizations to proactively address them. Additionally, privacy considerations, such as data anonymization and consent management, should be incorporated into the lifecycle management strategy to ensure compliance with applicable regulations such as NERC CIP and HIPAA.

Retirement and Decommissioning

The lifecycle management of IoT and OT devices extends to their retirement and decommissioning. It’s common for device manufacturers to announce the end-of-life (EOL) of a device months, if not years, in advance. For organizations with thousands, even millions, of devices in their environment, keeping track of various EOL milestones across their entire asset inventory is a significant task. Especially because the EOL announcements aren’t standardized – some happen over email, RSS, Twitter, manufacturer websites – and aggregating the information so it’s usable is incredibly manual. Fortunately, there are services like Perygee that do the heavy lifting. We’ve built an extensive knowledge graph that ingests disparate sources of lifecycle information and standardizes it under one roof. Combined with automations, security teams can configure alerts on their high priority assets so they’re never surprised when a device has reached its end of life.

When a device does reach its end-of-life or become obsolete, proper disposal procedures should be followed to prevent data leakage and environmental harm. Organizations should develop protocols for securely erasing data, recycling or disposing of hardware components, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

It is important to note that retirement and decommissioning may involve transitioning data and functionalities to newer devices. A well-defined migration plan ensures a smooth transition and minimizes disruptions to operations.

Continuous Improvement and Future-proofing

The landscape of IoT and OT devices is dynamic, with advancements and new technologies emerging regularly. Therefore, lifecycle management should incorporate a continuous improvement approach to adapt to evolving requirements and technological advancements. Regularly reassessing device performance, evaluating emerging standards, and staying abreast of industry trends enable organizations to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.

Future-proofing is also a crucial aspect of lifecycle management. By selecting devices with upgradeable firmware and modular architectures, organizations can extend the operational life of their devices and accommodate future enhancements without significant investments in replacement infrastructure and exposure to security vulnerabilities.


Lifecycle management of IoT and OT devices is a critical process that ensures their efficient operation and mitigates security risks. From device onboarding to retirement, organizations must establish comprehensive strategies to address the unique challenges presented by these devices. By implementing robust security measures, continuous monitoring, and maintenance practices, organizations can derive maximum value from their IoT and OT investments while safeguarding critical assets.

If you’re interested in learning how Perygee can help your organization create a comprehensive IoT and OT lifecycle management strategy, send us an email at

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