The world is interconnected now and exposure to security risks is growing as more of the most basic sensor devices become network-aware.
Like the failure of traditional antibiotics defending against the emerging “super-bugs,” anti-malware is failing to protect the ever-expanding and ever-more-diverse Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure against cyber-threats.
Today, IoT devices serve as a vital link between the digital and the physical worlds, and the consequences of a security breach can be extremely critical and, perhaps, even lethal in a healthcare environment, for example. If you want a prescription for what needs to be done to arrest this growing online pain, I recommend this for your digital devices: innovative and effective IoT security solutions.
A Fundamental Change
The Internet of Things is fundamentally changing almost every aspect of our lives, not just technology, but also business, government, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and more. Security needs to be at the center of the IoT revolution to ensure we get all its benefits while limiting the potential negative stuff (loss of privacy, theft of data and money, hacking of life-saving devices, etc.).
IoT devices have been in an early stage of deployment, where the focus was on connectivity, not security. However, now, with the explosive increase in IoT deployments there comes a burgeoning attack surface and greater exposure to cybersecurity risks. As examples, consider the recent Mirai DDoS* attacks that were perpetuated by cybercriminals using botnets made up of unsecured IoT devices.
Unique Characteristics Demand a New Approach
IoT deployments require a new approach because of these unique characteristics:
- Diversity – IoT devices can be very different from each other, with different functionalities, operating systems, hardware, apps, protocols, and more.
- Limitations – IoT devices often have too limited system resources for existing end-point security solutions to work. Generally, they are restricted in terms of compute, memory, bandwidth, and power. Traditional antivirus solutions cannot protect IoT devices.
- Higher-Risk – Many IoT devices present a higher-risk than PCs and other traditional network devices because they are always connected and have access to the physical environment. Hacked IoT devices could cause physical damage if malicious individuals control them. With vital and sensitive data flowing through IoT devices, the consequences of a security breach become much more serious.
These IoT characteristics pose formidable challenges to keeping them secure. And the “security of things” becomes a more urgent and important issue as more and more IoT devices are deployed. Fortunately, IoT devices also possess unique network behaviors that can help in creating a robust defense. IoT devices are specifically built to perform a few tasks usually without much human intervention. This makes their network traffic patterns more predictable.
Leveraging IoT behaviors and characteristics, ZingBox IoT Guardian offers an innovative way to protect Internet of Things without any footprint on end devices that might impede their performance. IoT Guardian is a cloud-based Security-as-a-Service offering for protecting IoT deployments.
This solution automatically discovers the behavior of IoT devices and generates a detailed “behavior profile” for each via machine learning. Behavior analytics in the cloud (cloud computing) is then used to determine anomalies with real-time policy enforcement at the edge (fog computing).
I recommend you employ a solution like IoT Guardian to keep your IoTs, your networks, and your business safe and healthy.
*A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when a website is overwhelmed with more traffic than it can take. This in effect takes the site offline for a period of time. Cybercriminals can use the threated of DDoS against a website to exhort money.