Growing risk from IoT calls for new approach to network security

Darragh Richardson, Agile Networks
Darragh Richardson, Agile Networks

Being connected means being vulnerable, but not unprotected

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10 January 2018 | 0

 

Security was unquestionably one of the major business talking points of 2017, and given what awaits us this year and next, you could argue that it is not a moment too soon.

Last year, ransomware, phishing attacks and data breaches dominated media headlines and company financial reports as organisations worldwide felt the effects of cybercrime. Looking ahead, Cybersecurity Ventures’ 2017 Annual Cybercrime Report paints a discouraging picture. It forecasts that cybercrime will cost $6 trillion per year by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. The costs include damage or destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, fraud, business disruption, and post-event investigation.

Just as street crime increased in line with global population growth, the report argues that cybercrime will follow the same pattern. The more human and digital targets there are, the greater the volume of attacks there will be. It is clear that the IT networks and systems of tomorrow will look very different. As a result, the task of protecting them will also need to adapt.

“Tomorrow’s world is one where connected devices will vastly outnumber the personal computing systems we use now. To be connected is to be vulnerable. By virtue of their design and low manufacturing cost, many of these devices are inherently insecure”

The risks we know today come from employees bringing their own smart phones and tablets into the working environment. Tomorrow’s world is one where connected devices will vastly outnumber the personal computing systems we use now. To be connected is to be vulnerable. By virtue of their design and low manufacturing cost, many of these devices are inherently insecure. They are an easy target for malicious actors to hijack and use to launch denial of service attacks, for example.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), numbers on this scale will radically change the game when it comes to security. Intel has forecast that by 2020 there will be 200 billion connected objects, including embedded sensors, actuators and other devices.

Network security systems already need to work overtime to identify potentially malicious activity. Many network managers and IT professionals are asking themselves: ‘how do I know my network is secure?’

In an environment like this, Juniper Networks’ Software-Defined Secure Network (SDSN) holds the answer. It is a security platform that integrates, centralises, and automates defence by automatically and dynamically detecting and responding to threats as a whole ecosystem rather than as an individual entity.

Every element in an SDSN framework – from physical, virtual and router to switch, firewall and edge –actively helps to detect and contain threats. If it recognises malicious activity on the network, it proactively isolates the rogue element to stop the infection from spreading.

Businesses are testing and adopting IoT projects because they promise many benefits. It’s time for a different approach to security that ensures those upsides outweigh the risks.

 Agile Networks is hosting a free event covering Juniper Networks and its SDSN cybersecurity platform on Thursday, 1 February at the Irish Times Building in Dublin. The briefing will include a look at Sky ATP, Juniper’s cloud-based security for advanced malware protection, Junos Space Security Director, a network security management solution, and an overview of Juniper’s security solution and future direction. The event also includes a free network security consultation using Juniper’s ANR Report. For more details, and to register, visit http://bit.ly/2B8iWnt

 

 

Darragh Richardson, managing director, Agile Networks

 

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