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Data breaches through wearables put target squarely on IoT in 2017

Ryan Francis | Jan. 4, 2017
Security needs to be baked into IoT devices for there to be any chance of halting a DDoS attack, according to security experts.

Consumers will need to protect their personal networks from this new version of Mirai botnets, creating demand for services that safeguard them. More importantly, vendors will need to adopt better standards for protection of devices. If the Mirai botnet is any indication, the lack of security in device design is still quite profound, Black says.

Speaking of standards

Steven Sarnecki, vice president of federal and public sector at OSIsoft, pointed to the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Cyber Center of Excellence for a glimpse of what is to come. NIST is currently piloting a project to assess how energy companies can better utilize connected devices to integrate and increase security with hopes of sharing those best practices and insights across the energy sector.  

“As more companies wake up to the reality of IoT security threats, these solutions will become more commonplace, enabling enterprises to markedly increase their security footprint with only minimal incremental cost,” he says.

Sarnecki adds that in 2017 he would expect a large portion of IoT users, especially within the enterprise and industrial spaces, to begin to seriously consider the “internet of threats” aspect posed by IoT to their networks. Energy companies, water utilities, and many other critical infrastructure sectors rely on connected devices to support their missions.

Jeannie Warner, security manager at WhiteHat Security, agrees that new guidelines will emerge from organizations such as NIST requiring that application security vendors partner with device manufacturers and testing labs to deliver secure IoT systems. 

“The internet of things is growing daily, with smart devices and controlling applications at the core of every business from healthcare to smart cars and smart buildings. It’s essential to protect smart anything from attackers attempting to exploit their vulnerabilities,” she says.

In the same way manufacturing safety testing via the American National Standards Institute controls new releases in devices, she believes NIST SP 800 or a similar body will form guidelines for a comprehensive security assurance through the integration of dynamic application scanning technology and rigorous device controls testing.

Commonalities in all IoT systems include controls for tracking and sensing interfaces, combined with web- or mobile-enabled control applications that combine to expand the borders of the security ecosystem, she says. New guidelines will (ideally) force more application security vendors to partner with device control testing labs to support manufacturing earlier in the development process, helping the innovative organizations to manage risk by identifying vulnerabilities early in development, continue to monitor challenges during testing, and help release more secure products.

Big data

The enterprise has paid attention to IoT for some time, though 2017 will be the year we move past the “wow” phase and into the “how do we do we securely and effectively bring IoT to the enterprise, how do we handle the high speed data ingest, and how do we optimize analytics and decisions based on IOT data,” says Redis Labs Vice President of Product Marketing Leena Joshi.

 

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