Properly Safeguarding Distributed Internet of Things Networks.

Author:Boxley, Don

Aside from the internet itself, The Internet of Things has the potential to become the most transformative technological application of our times. Conservative estimates indicate it will encompass approximately 30 billion devices in the next couple years, more than half of which will include machine to machine communication.

With each of those smart devices connected to edge gateways or centralized clouds via IP networks, the IoT will not only generate more data than any other single application, but also the quickest data with its continuous, real-time streaming of sensor sources. With use cases spanning smart cities, personalized marketing, dynamic pricing and more, the possibilities for such real-time deployments are virtually endless.

Unfortunately, so are the cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Security risks are still the primary inhibitor for IoT adoption rates, and even cloud deployments of highly sensitive data. The IoT's security challenges are particularly daunting because they require safeguarding devices outside of traditional enterprise boundaries. Moreover, these endpoints are designed for lightweight data transmissions--not enterprise class security protocols.

The flexible, fine-grained security of Software Defined Perimeters, however, excels in IoT settings or any type of cloud environment. Lightweight and portable enough to be installed in the most inexpensive of endpoint devices, this solution leverages several measures to conceal data transmissions from anyone but the sender or receiver.

Consequently, organizations can protect endpoint devices, edge gateways, and centralized clouds to actualize the IoT's advantages while reducing its risks.

IoT Device Dangers.

It's difficult to assess which aspect of IoT security is more inhibitive--the fact that transmissions initiate outside the perimeters of conventional enterprise cybersecurity mechanisms, or that the devices aren't designed for contemporary security challenges. The reality is that even if devices are behind traditional cybersecurity perimeter defenses like Virtual Private Networks or firewalls, the increasing numbers of data breaches indicate they'd be just as vulnerable. VPNs aren't suitable for IoT use cases because organizations don't own the physical infrastructure in the cloud to properly implement gateways there. Also, it's difficult for VPNs to match the scale of the containers frequently deployed in the IoT, while the connections themselves are unreliable.


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