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How the Internet of Things Impacts Enterprise Security

Update Date: May 19, 2020 08:02 PM EDT
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How the Internet of Things Impacts Enterprise Security
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The installed base of non-consumer Internet of Things (IoT) devices is anticipated to crest the six billion mark by the end of 2020. This represents an increase of one billion devices over the market penetration achieved in 2019. Given this explosive growth, adoption has the potential to outpace security by a wide margin.

With this in mind, it's critical to examine how IoT impacts enterprise security.

Acknowledging the Threat Is Very Real

With so many potential entryways out there, it's inevitable that interlopers will probe them for weaknesses. Too many security plans focus on protecting the core of a network, leaving the outer edges brittle and under-defended. 

Cyber security administrators must familiarize themselves with the ways IoT has been exploited for cybercrimes in the past. The rapid rise of network technology, coupled with the proliferation of IoT, has made the possibility of control of these devices being seized more than a distinct possibility - it's now a probability, the likelihood of which is extremely high.

Increased Demand for Managed Security Services

The sheer number of entry points presented by IoT devices has made managing security in house more challenging than ever before. To this end, many companies have adopted a hybrid approach in which their in-house team is supplemented by an organization specializing in deploying and managing 24/7 security technologies. 

This gives companies the extra confidence that someone with a personal stake in maintaining their cybersecuritsy is overseeing a team of experts capable of implementing the latest innovations in monitoring and responding to potential threats on the network. One example of such a model is an enterprise working with a third-party software as a service (SaaS) platform offering secure SD-WAN services.

OT Cybersecurity More Important Than Ever

Experts believe operational technology (OT) security is where IT security was 10 years ago. In other words, it's still in its infancy. Meanwhile, cybercrime is fully formed and nipping around OT's edges - looking to exploit any available opening. This reality has placed significant importance upon the work of organizations such as MITRE Engenuity's Center for Threat-Informed Defense, the goal of which is to improve cyber defense at scale through collaborative research and development.

The underlying belief is that looking upon cybersecurity as more of a team sport than a collection of individual efforts renders the potential for broader success more attainable. "The cybersecurity challenges that we face transcend any single organization, sector, or nation," says Laurie Giandomenico, MITRE Engenuity CEO. "Defending against adversaries requires uniting industry across sectors to advance our abilities in threat-informed defense."

Adoption of More Robust Integral Security

In the past, cost constraints - along with the rush to market - left IoT devices more vulnerable than they really should have been. It's safe to say the designers of these devices did so not with malicious intent, but rather in acquiescence to pressure from management to deliver a marketable product as quickly and inexpensively as possible. 

The good news is the proliferation of which we spoke earlier has also given rise to the specification of more vigorous security capabilities incorporated as a key aspect of design briefs. This includes the implementation of measures such as integrated life cycle management capabilities and prioritization of the coding of security and privacy principles into operating software. Device updates are also being made more readily available as they come online. 

These developments bode well for the future, as they will ultimately lead to a more secure business environment overall. In the meantime however, it's important to pay attention to how Internet of Things devices can impact your enterprise security in order to ensure your network is suitably defended against cybercriminals. 

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