In 2016, Business Insider Intelligence predicted there will be 34 billion connected devices, up from 10 billion in 2015. This latest prediction nearly doubles Gartner’s 20 billion connected devices prediction, but it doesn’t come close to other projections. In any case, Gartner reports that more than 5.5 million things get connected every day.
With all these “things” competing for bandwidth—and potentially opening opportunities for malware or hacking—managing IT becomes more complex. In the emerging IoT world, you need an information security platform that balances superior data protection and high network performance. Here are some key factors to address.
Adaptive Infrastructure and Network Visibility
Most companies have networks designed to support standard business systems, but few have excess bandwidth. As more devices and “things” connect, the need for more bandwidth and a more robust infrastructure will force companies to take steps to upgrade.
IT needs robust monitoring tools and complete visibility of internal and external network environments to pinpoint issues and predict slowdowns before they cause problems. While some teams have tools, many aren’t able to use them ways that provide actionable insight and optimize resources. Used properly, the right tools and platform can allow IT to plan ahead and allocate bandwidth to the most critical workloads.
Data Management and Analytics Skills
More devices are connecting wirelessly, creating a drain on bandwidth and adding to security concerns. With this increasing demand, IT needs a clearer picture of the sources of demand. This allows IT to map and plan for future demand, including the types of devices that most commonly connect and applications that consume the most bandwidth. It can also identify sources of potential security risk, and enable IT to deploy the necessary bandwidth while keeping eyes open to potential security issues.
Stricter data security regulations such as HIPAA, PCI and FERMA have fines that can reach millions of dollars for breaches, giving companies a strong incentive to ensure that every connected device is locked down. Without question, cybersecurity is the biggest challenge to widespread adoption of connected devices.
Best of breed tools offer strength to withstand attacks, but there’s always a question about whether tools pieced together from multiple vendors provide adequate coverage, or if you’re paying extra for unnecessary redundancies and overlap.
What companies actually need is a mesh of tools that makes managing cybersecurity simpler, without interfering with users’ ability to get the job done.
State of the art firewalls that monitor intrusions at critical points provide a strong foundation, especially when they support the segmentation of different data sources and applications, and provide an extra layer of protection inside network perimeters.
Anti-spam, antivirus and malware detection software must monitor user interactions to identify and stop hackers before they wreak havoc across the network. Mobile connections must also be validated for device trustworthiness before accessing network resources.
To achieve the right security-performance balance, we recommend deploying a scalable, holistic approachto cybersecurity that provides end-to-end coverage, while enabling tools to interoperate and share threat intelligence with the others.