Network Security in the Time of IoT
Ever since Intranet applications were introduced in 1995, cyber security has been a concern. It has become all too easy for hackers to ‘ping’ ports in firewalls to invade corporate infrastructure and inject viruses. While security firms offer antivirus software that patches vulnerable applications and systems, it falls short of the standards companies expect in 2017. The current complex business landscape requires solutions that not just identify holes and recommend security posture changes, but also effectively protect legacy systems, which cannot be patched to required system levels.
Billions of Networks = Billions of Vulnerabilities
Today, a dizzying number of devices are connected to the Internet, constantly exchanging data across billions of devices. As of 2017, 8.4 billion connected ‘things’ are in use and the ecosystem is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. This means that in a matter of only three years, an entire universe of networks and environments will be constantly ‘on’, enabling interactions between individuals, enterprises, and corporates.
As the old adage goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. So, while an always-on world eliminates boundaries, it also opens up opportunities for perpetrators to penetrate corporate (and personal) environments. They could load payloads on unprotected home users which could be used to launch attacks when connected to corporate environments. Security breaches can destroy companies’ reputations and bottom line as valuable data and intellectual property and customer data is stolen and marketed to the highest bidder.
While the rapid digitization of consumers’ and enterprise process can dramatically lower cost and increase efficiency, poorly secured infrastructure will lead to cost implications of data breaches which will total $2.1 trillion globally by 2019.
Smart Surveillance, Quick Action, Minimized Risk
With the magnitude of security threats, organizations are producing new products and services to best secure customers and governments are creating regulations to protect consumer data and guide organizations on how to safeguard information. Compliance to security standards and protection against breeches are forefront in many corporate agendas.
In order to help our customers be more secure, PCM offers Next Generation Firewall (NGFWL) protection which integrates deep packet inspection (DPI) intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) and encrypted packet inspection. These products work alongside real-time threat engines to blacklist and/or sandbox known covert signatures and unknown anomalous behavior.
PCM Cloud Security Solutions (CSS) extends security policy to popular Cloud applications such as Box, Salesforce.com, Azure and AWS. With anomalous threats, Threat Intelligence Clouds create a sandbox to quarantine Malware and prevent the infection of corporate networks with the best solutions integrated into NGFWL solutions. When NGFWL or endpoint security systems identify anomalous behavior, they quarantine the offending packet and forward it to the threat engine. If the threats are found to be offensive, signatures and rules are created and forwarded back to the supported security devices to blacklist such packets. This enables near real-time and continuous security of customer environments.
Additional solutions like Mobile Device Management (MDM), Network Admission Control (NAC) malware, and antivirus protection also have a role to play. It is up to companies to choose the optimal solution for their requirements.
There is no escaping the Internet of Things (IoT) movement. It makes running a business, manufacturing products, and our lives easier. But to enable the Internet of Secure Things, robust security measures must be embraced in in a sustainable and healthy manner. It is about countering smart with smart – advanced threats with intelligent solutions and networks.
About the Author:
Phil J. Mogavero
Vice President, Network Solutions
To learn more contact your PCM account representative or visit our website.
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