Industry Trends

Addressing Security in an IoT World

By Toan Trinh | September 13, 2017

Fortinet will be showcasing our IoT security solutions at Telstra Vantage™ at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre this coming September 20-21 in Booth # S08.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new concept, yet in recent years IoT has gained mass popularity. Conversations range from how IoT can improve our daily lives to how it can improve efficiency, innovate and transform businesses - from the services offered to improving the way a business operates. Unfortunately, today we are being constantly confronted with examples of where the security of IoT devices is only being considered after deployment, and far too often, only after an IoT device is breached, which can sometimes be months, if not years, after initial deployment.

When talking about IoT, we often hear examples of smart fridges, wireless toasters, connected homes, and driverless cars designed to assist with powering and simplifying our connected lives. However, it is also important to think about the IoT devices that are being pervasive deployed in the enterprise network. If there is anything this year’s headliner (WannaCry and NotPetya) outbreaks can teach us about IoT, it’s that these devices can become so embedded into our daily lives for so long that we sometimes forget the threat they can present if they are compromised as a result of:

  1. Being left unpatched
  2. Not being secured by any other means.

We have also seen ransomware attacking health industry equipment like EEG, X-Ray, and CAT-scan machines, to name a few. In Australia, the Victorian Police was forced to suspend 8,000 tickets issued after discovering the WannaCry ransomware had infected the state’s road safety cameras as a result of human error, which allowed the virus to infiltrate their network.

Unfortunately, far too many IoT devices were never designed with security in mind, which has resulted in the unintended (often undiscovered) broadening of an organization’s attack surface.

To help address this rapidly changing topology, today’s digital networks need to be able to automatically adapt through learning every time a change anywhere across the network is made. It also needs to be able to review and approve of new devices connecting to the network, as well as be aware of – and implement – best practices for security and data governance. Finally, it is important that networks be able to constantly monitor the ever-increasing attack surface against the configuration, real-time data, and security policies of the business.

Of course, all of these need to be considered, whilst minimizing the added workload of the limited and overworked IT resources.

So…what should you be thinking about before rolling out an IoT solution? Here are three questions every organization needs to be asking themselves:

  1. Is your network already suffering?
    • If so, what can be done to reduce complexity and increase performance?
  2. Is your access network able to support these new connections?
    • Can you control, manage, and secure existing connections?
  3. Today it’s IoT, tomorrow it will be something else. Are you ready?
    • Now is the time to rethink your network’s security capabilities

To hear more on these and related topics from the experts, Fortinet will be attending the upcoming Telstra Vantage conference in Melbourne, the 20 - 21 of September. We will be providing both demos and information at our Booth S08. In addition, Fortinet’s IoT Expert – Toan Trinh – will also be speaking on this topic in further detail on Wednesday, 20 September at 14:30 in Silent Theatre F.