Industrial processes and machines are becoming more smart and modular. A critical enabler of this transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart, always-connected devices provide real-time contextual information with low overhead to optimize processes and improve how companies and individuals interact, work, and live.
And where would you put the explosive growth in IoT devices? You put that in this category? Do you put it in one of the other categories in terms of where the threat exists?
It’s probably somewhere between network and cloud. But yeah, it’s definitely a network function.
And the proliferation of 5G is going to really have a big impact.
Forecast of IoT devices off the charts. Many of those don’t have…
Any security built in at all.
Any security whatsoever, and they’ll have firmware problems, and they’ll have other issues too. Some of the bigger attacks that you’ve seen, the more public ones, the ones that hit the headlines. Is it happening here or is it happening in some of these other places?
Most of them are happening in some of the other places. Network security is fairly evolved because it was a problem from when the Internet was invented, where it starts to get cloudy is when you introduce cloud and on Prem. But yeah, to answer your question, IoT is going to way further complicate the model for network security. And in terms of where it sits in the stack, it’s right in there with end user computing cloud as in levels of importance.
When you rank rate a customer or company on the strength of their cyber security posture. Is this typically where you see companies the strongest in terms of their posture?
Yes, but only because this is where traditional cyber security is applied is at the network level. So you see that more comp. So also highly evolved, highly mature the tools for going and doing this. This is literally we can put sensors on a network and get an environment stood up in two days to be doing these functions right? It’s one of the first. It’s low hanging fruit when you go in in a cybersecurity engagement, this gets done first.
And of these, Where’s the biggest risk or threat today?
Personally, my mentality is all about prevention, so it’s scan it’s vulnerability assessment and scanning the environment to figure out where the configuration areas are in place. In the last episode we talked about that publicly traded company. That’s how we figured that out. Right.
We went and scanned the environment and said scanning tools. Tell us what’s open here and that’s a path to prevention. Well, there have folks. Thanks for tuning in today. Add your comments below and we look forward to chatting with you next week.
Thanks again for tuning in. See you next week.
Network Security Evolution
As ransomware evolves and becomes more of a commodity, this has become the organized crime of our generation. Cyber mercenaries are now acting like nation-states and have been able to grow due to the pandemic. The contact-tracing application ecosystem has created opportunities for bad actors, and adversaries will step up their attacks on the software supply chain and logistics companies as well. The threat landscape continues to grow exponentially, and with more IoT devices, there are tools and frameworks that are progressing to help us mitigate the risk as much as possible.
It all starts with the network, and zero trust network access (ZTNA) adoption is a must. ZTNA enables security teams with a continuous real-time check on who is accessing information and when. With the adoption of software-defined networks and the growing trend of intent-based networks, having this enabled is a growing trend.
This can also help with addressing the 5G attack surface. As 5G availability grows, so will your attack surface. 5G offers easy network integration to industrial control systems and operation technology (ICS/OT), but the result is an increased attack surface and exposure to underlying flaws in how these networks operate. ICS/OT environments reliance on network segmentation today to mitigate risks will not have the same effectiveness.
Constant Growth of IOT
Advanced principal technologies and a proliferation of devices have helped fuel the growth of IoT technologies. Further growth in the coming years will be possible thanks to new sensors, more computing power, and reliable mobile connectivity.
Sensor technology, embedded in IoT devices, will continue to become cheaper, more advanced, and more widely available. In turn, this availability and cost-effectiveness will make new sensor applications possible, including large-scale monitoring and detection. Meanwhile, computing power has increased about 100 times in the past 15 years. Applications such as real-time analytics and artificial intelligence can thus shift activity from local devices toward cloud and edge computing solutions. In addition, improved mobile connectivity with the advent of 5G will allow new applications for experiences such as augmented and virtual reality.
Finally, the IoT market will grow because existing IT devices will need to be linked to the IoT. Growth in traditional connected IT devices is admittedly moderate, about 2 percent per year. However, the installed base of more than five billion smartphones, two billion personal computers, and one billion tablets indicates a massive market for device integration.
The IoT already numbers more than 200 known applications in enterprise settings, but IoT adoption isn’t limited to large companies. Adopters have moved beyond pilots to scale IoT solutions across their businesses. Indeed, IoT technologies have already given rise to a number of landmark applications in sectors as diverse as Industry 4.0, smart cities, smart homes, connected cars, and e-health.
Furthermore, advances in the technologies that contribute to the IoT mean that all affected sectors can now access functionality that did not exist five years earlier. For instance, B2B companies have started using Industry 4.0 technologies to maintain direct connections to their products in the field. This constant monitoring makes predictive maintenance possible and improves efficiency and equipment uptime.