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Will the Enterprise Welcome Connected Devices?

by Juniper Employee ‎02-23-2017 01:00 AM - edited ‎04-12-2017 04:56 AM

IoTSecurity.jpg

 

 

IoT is everywhere. There are around 15 billion connected devices in the world today. Putting it bluntly, that equals billions of opportunities to launch a cyber-attack. I’m sure we all saw the news at the end of 2016 when IoT cameras were infected with the Mirai malware and turned into ‘bots that were used to disable websites and Internet services.

 

Will 2017 be the year we hear of the first attack where IoT is used to steal corporate data? This is a threat that has to be taken seriously, as it is very real - now is the time to consider how to improve process, policy and technology for the safer, more productive use of connected devices.

 

Business IoT is common, but it’s personal devices that are really driving this technology trend – we’re buying everything from storage to desktop gadgets, all of which could be brought into work and connected to the network.

 

Businesses Use IoT

There are plenty of valid business use cases for IoT, driving both personal and professional effectiveness. We’re familiar with never-empty IoT coffee machines or network-connected  printers and lighting – but now we’re seeing integrations with scheduling or email allowing IoT-enabled meeting rooms which are available on demand, or tagging assets to enable just-in-time order processes.

 

All these devices need network access, and many will require Internet access for cloud storage of data and configuration. They will also be connected to the company network, which has the potential of exposing the network – a compromised coffee machine may be frustrating for users needing a caffeine fix, but the breach could also expose the network and corporate data to a targeted attack.

 

When we design infrastructure for enterprise IoT, it’s important that these devices are treated as a threat risk from the outset. Whereas a laptop or tablet has layered protection against malware, we may not want to assume that this is the case with IoT devices. It’s critical for users to understand how these devices will access the Internet, what services will be necessary and which are just nice-to-have, and how they will receive updates. We need to remain in control of IoT on the network, and not let IoT take control of the network.

 

Personal IoT Devices

We all love our personal IoT devices; they are fun, they are cool and they are the future. The device itself may be innocuous and sometimes even personally beneficial. However, these devices connect to cloud services and, without the proper security settings, they have the potential to expose a corporate network, providing opportunity for anyone planning a socially-engineered and targeted attack.

 

Now is the time to create policies for the use of IoT devices. We cannot afford to be naive about their use - it is happening. People have personal back-up drives, cameras, gaming devices, and fitness devices, so it is critically important to ensure that your business is prepared and protected. You really only have three choices.

 

  • Ban: Do not allow any use of IoT at work: Unless you are in a government organisation, an air-gapped business, or have never allowed personal electronics, this may not be a practical solution. Banning IoT altogether could drive it further into the shadows. People will use it just outside the office, in the car-park, or in the washroom. And worse, not knowing means not seeing, so a total lack of visibility may be the result. Banning altogether could make you even more vulnerable should an attack occur.
  • Ignore: Allow use of IoT with no supervision: This response is equivalent to an ostrich burying its head in the sand – it ignores reality and is highly risky. Allowing the use of any IoT device makes it impossible to track, and in turn, when a breach occurs, it will be difficult to detect. This approach is definitely not recommended.
  • Allow: But implement security awareness for users: This will likely be the best response for most enterprises. By implementing good, and regular, security awareness training for users, they become more aware of the risks and better capable of applying a form of security (strong passwords, disabling Internet management). Devices will be visible and protected because they are in plain-sight. There may be devices which are not allowed on the corporate network, but these will be the exception, not the rule. People will come to understand.

I hope that in this blog I’ve conveyed that while as useful as IoT can be, there are risks. Juniper Networks wants everyone to enjoy IoT safely by using security technology that provides the earliest possible warning of malware by monitoring from the network. Juniper Networks Sky ATP advanced malware defence , which is integrated into our next gen SRX series firewalls, does exactly this. It enables faster and more accurate detection and remediation from threats than standalone security appliances or firewalls alone.

 

So, to answer the question posed at the start– ‘Will the enterprise welcome connected devices?’ - well, in fact you won’t have a choice as IoT is inevitable. Where you do have a choice is how you protect yourself from those connected devices and ensure that IoT doesn’t equal “Internet of Threats.”

 

If you enjoyed reading this blog and would like to read related security blogs please visit here

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  • Amy James is Product Marketing lead for Security at Juniper Networks. She brings her knowledge of cyber security from companies like FireEye, Cisco and Cloudmark with deep roots in technology storytelling.
  • Andrew is a Juniper Distinguished Engineer responsible for the architecture of Juniper's network management user interfaces.
  • Asher Langton is a senior software engineer and malware researcher on Juniper's Sky ATP team.
  • Aviram Zrahia is a consulting engineer at Juniper Networks and an industry researcher of cyberspace. He holds a CISSP and GCIH certifications, as well as a bachelor's degree in computer science and MBA in management of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He is also a research fellow in the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC) at Tel Aviv University, currently focusing on the domain of threat intelligence sharing.
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  • Brad Minnis, CPP is the Senior Director of Corporate Environmental, Health, Safety & Security for Juniper Networks, Inc. based in Sunnyvale, CA, where he is responsible for strategic design, implementation and management of the company’s security, safety, environment, crisis management and business continuity functions. He also leads the company’s efforts in corporate citizenship and sustainability, and manages the Corporation’s government-related security programs. Mr. Minnis has over 30 years experience in the Silicon Valley and has managed EHSS operations for a number of high tech companies, including Juniper Networks, 3Com Corporation, and National Semiconductor Corporation. Mr. Minnis’ specialties include security management, supply chain and product integrity, anti-counterfeit, occupational health and safety and crisis management. In his role as Cyber Incident Response Team Leader for Juniper, Mr. Minnis has managed numerous high impact cyber-related incidents and cross-functional responses. Mr. Minnis served for ten years in the United States Navy and has served in leadership positions the International Security Management Association (ISMA) and ASIS International, serving as Chairman of the San Francisco Chapter in 2003. He has also co-written several publications on software integrity assurance and supply chain security with organizations such as SAFECode. Mr. Minnis is certified as a Protection Professional by the Professional Certification Board of ASIS International and attended the University of Connecticut, where he received two certificates in Environmental, Health and Safety
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  • I have been in the networking industry for over 35 years: PBXs, SNA, Muxes, ATM, routers, switches, optical - I've seen it all. Twelve years in the US, over 25 in Europe, at companies like AT&T, IBM, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Dimension Data. Since 2007 I have been at Juniper, focusing on solutions and services: solving business problems via products and projects. Our market is characterized by amazing technological innovations, but technology is no use if you cannot get it to work and keep it working. That is why services are so exciting: this is where the technology moves out of the glossy brochures and into the real world! Follow me on Twitter: @JoeAtJuniper For more about me, go to my LinkedIn profile: http://fr.linkedin.com/pub/joe-robertson/0/4a/34a
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  • Laurence is passionate about technology, particularly cyber security. His depth and breadth of knowledge of the dynamic security landscape is a result of over twenty years’ experience in cyber security. He understands the security concerns businesses face today and can bring insight to the challenges they will face tomorrow. Laurence joined Juniper Networks in 2016 and is our senior security specialist in EMEA. Security throughout the network is a key area where Juniper Networks can help as business moves to the cloud and undertakes the challenge of digital transformation.
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