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The 6 security keys in the IoT era | Biz the World

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6capasprotecciónEverything started with the PCs, after that came the laptops, smartphones, watches, cars…

I have been following up closely for some time this avalanche of new devices and connectivity. Follow up is rather an euphemism, due to the difficulty to keep the pace with such an amount of information. The technologic boom today is so incredible that something that we take for granted today may not be true tomorrow.

A few days ago, a friend of mine, Marcelo Lozano was talking about companies that have adopted COPE policy (Corporate Owned and Personally Enable) as opposed to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This is just an example of all the increasing movements to give answers to an-hyper connected and hyper accessible World, and we will see more and more movements like this.

Before we just had a device connected to the network through a cable.

Today we have two or three devices per person connected through a wireless connection.

Tomorrow will be the car, the air condition, the watch, and dozens of other objects.

In 2011, Cisco already predicted that in 2020 each person will have 7 devices connected. Exchanging data, information, and using corporate communications, data and connections that walk together with our employees by any mean to unknown places.

Each person will become an ecosystem by themselves, a proxy that will bring requests to the corporate networks for its needs. The perimeter and the DMZ already disappeared, and many more changes are due to happen.

The heterogeneity of the users and the quantity of devices, operating systems diversity and connectivity requests are going to grow incredibly as well as the number of protocols to work with. We will see a dramatic change.

As the environment and needs evolve, security cannot be driven in the same way as before; security will have to take a step forward.

These are the six security layers that we foresee that each organization should have in the future:

1. INVENTORY & POLICIES – Having a very clear vision of the Company assets: documentation, fixed assets and people; that should be the start.

It’s key to have in place a good inventory and security policy already. But in an IoT environment, knowing in advance what can, and how will interact with our assets, will become not only a need, but an imperative to anticipate serious security breaches in a far less controlled space.

Some technologies that are already working in this space are as examples Alzaris and the MDMs.

2. ACCESS VALIDATION – Today most technologies work as access verification technologies. To deny or allow executables access to the OS or the application like the Antivirus or accesses to the system like the firewalls, or even to the traffic, etc…

We should act as if each asset user is a proxy, a system. With encryption or any other mean, this layer will act as a validator of accesses, executables, processes, etc… Deciding what can and cannot enter or interact the system.

Technology examples: Antivirus, Firewalls, etc…

3. OWNERSHIP RETAINERS – We see that the most serious problems we are facing are due to the absolute freedom users have once they break the access layer.

The use of technologies that are able to provide an extra layer limiting individually or by groups the privileges of use of the organization assets will be more and more required.

The remote ability to give access permissions, guarantee integrity of the assets, as well as taking active actions towards confidentiality of the data that is absolutely key to enforce the policies and reduce the risks in inside any organization.

Examples: Sealpath, Parental Control, etc…

4. REMEDIATION – Attacks are happening and will continue to happen. We have to be prepared in any organization for this. In the case an attack is successful, we should be able to rescue an affected system with powerful tools that can vaccine the systems and revert the damage done.

Examples of these tools can be System Mechanic or BackUp Systems

5. USER EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION – Most security has been approaching the problem as if we would have to choose between user experience or security and effectiveness in responding to some problem. In the new reality users have just taken over this aspect. We see people adopting BYOD in many cases because the internal policies just don’t give proper tools for professionals to work with. This is creating a much bigger risk for corporate networks. Security officers and IT professionals have to evangelize users on the way they affect the organization security and what benefits they can have on adopting internal security policies at work and on a personal environment. Because the difference between professional and personal use and technology and users will be less and less visible.

Examples: System Mechanic; patch management, etc…

6. INTELLIGENCE – Big data gives us many possibilities, but also the danger to have too much information. The question is not only the data we gather but how we make it worth, basically how we transform the data into intelligence.

Basically the systems will have to be able to:

a. Gathering all necessary information and transforming it in intelligence.

b. Dashboard with meaningful and straightforward conclusions that allow to detect situations and to take fast decisions.

c. Take remote and live actions in the devices from a ubiquitous central point.

d. Setting remotely alerts to System Admin and Users.

Many challenges here to cope with: the variety of protocols and systems, the ownership of the information and the devices, the privacy and legal issues, etc…

These are Biz The World predictions for Security in the near future, I would be very pleased to have your own views on this.


 João Matos