Organizations are increasingly deploying Internet-enabled devices able to network and communicate with each other and the cloud. Often referred to as the Internet of Things, IoT is being built by the convergence of increasingly connected devices, cloud economics and the acceleration of big data analytics to extract value from data.
IoT is a major global trend that will increasingly impact enterprise security, so it’s important to monitor the scope and scale of IoT. Intel predicts that IoT will represent a 3.8 billion-device opportunity by 2015, and ABI Research thinks that IoT will be a 30-billion device opportunity by 2020. It’s challenging enough to protect servers on the enterprise network; IT will increasingly need the ability to protect the network against attacks targeted at intelligent devices connected to the enterprise network.
The recent Computerworld article 6 ways the Internet of Things will transform enterprise security discusses the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on enterprise security. It highlights the following six ways IoT will impact enterprise security:
- IoT will create billions of new and potentially insecure end points. Many of them will be single-purpose devices, and others will have Internet connectivity added to legacy devices.
- IoT will inevitably intersect with the enterprise network. The enterprise network will carry IoT traffic, and if a hacker can get into an IoT device it can potentially serve as an entry point to higher-level enterprise resources.
- IoT will be a world of heterogeneous, embedded devices. IoT devices will often run applications embedded in their operating systems, making them very different from the layered software model that enterprise security groups are more familiar with securing.
- IoT will enable physical and physiological damage. The article points out that hackers have already breached medical equipment, and smart heating and cooling systems could become attack targets.
- IoT will create a new supply chain. Many of the devices connected to the enterprise network in the future will be from companies that IT security departments have not worked with yet.
- IoT will exacerbate the volume, stealth and persistence of online attacks. Increased volumes of addressable devices connected to the enterprise network create more targets for hackers.
As organizations prepare for an increase in intelligent devices connected to the network, traditional web security solutions are insufficient for protecting the perimeter of the enterprise network. A managed application firewall protects your corporate network from web attacks and provides many other services as well.
For example, the T-Systems Managed Firewall Services for Enterprises uses the latest firewall technology and a highly qualified operating team to provide constant, up-to-date protection from online attacks. It’s operated by security specialists who are always up-to-date on the latest attack patterns, and allows the enterprise to rely on protection systems that are always up-to-date when deploying new classes of intelligent devices on the enterprise network.