IoT Devices At Forefront Of Cyber Security Efforts

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Dan Gunderman

After large trade shows such as the RSA Conference (April 16-20), it’s often the right time to “take the industry’s temperature.” What are some of the biggest trends? What direction is security headed?

The Cyber Security Hub touched upon some of these points in its RSA coverage. But nevertheless, the prognosticating must continue, for enterprises are still reeling from the effects of heightened security efforts, (perhaps) stagnant spend and sophisticated threat actors. Arguably, it’s in the security team’s best interest to review some of the biggest disruptors in the space: What’s bound to shake up cyber security? Will a CISO’s efforts be streamlined? Better yet, will the skills gap narrow?

In arranging its own sort of forecast of the space, Forbes spoke with its Technology Council to get a sense of where cyber security is headed. One Forbes point references IoT device security, a “hot-button” issue that will also be incorporated in the inaugural Cyber Security Digital Summit. The latter is a three-day, fully online event that features thought-leading cyber professionals and cutting-edge sessions on pain points and mitigation efforts in the security space.

Internet of (Too Many) Things?

Mark Benson, Chief Technology Officer of Exosite and a Technology Council member, described IoT devices as “cheap” and “easy to hack.” He said that they’re visible, pervasive and geographically distributed. This makes them ideal targets for a hacker to “commandeer” and orchestrate a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

Benson, who also spoke with the Cyber Security Hub, said that the rapid digitization of durable goods is becoming “the new normal.” A “macro-economic movement towards smart connected devices, sensors, data, insights and control” is what has become IoT.

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The Chief Technology Officer said that IoT brings an entirely new set of security challenges. The devices are cost- and resource-constrained, he said, and so not always capable of meeting top security standards.

Benson said that IT organizations are ill-equipped to manage IoT devices and “lack the skills, tools and knowledge to monitor the health of device fleets, deploy security updates and manage the flow of data securely into other systems.”

It’s because of these points, the CTO said, that IoT is becoming a “key driver” for cyber security spending and prioritization. Various IoT platforms now exist to focus on secure management of this space, too.

IoT & More at the Summit

Similarly, Rebecca Wynn, Senior Director, Head of Information Security, Matrix Medical Network, will be leading a session on IoT security at the upcoming Digital Summit (Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. ET). While these IoT devices are being implemented onto networks at unprecedented rates, the speed of acceptance could be jeopardizing privacy of consumers and businesses. The session aims to show that “as these technologies develop, it is vital that cyber security professionals find ways of ensuring the use of emerging solutions within the boundaries of regulatory best practices and privacy protection.”

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Wynn’s Summit session will also retain a special focus on: wearable technology, mobile wallets, near-field communications, direct payment, privacy in the world of IoT, vulnerabilities and red flags, and industrial versus consumer IoT.

A ‘Variegated Landscape’

Wynn previously spoke with the Cyber Security Hub, adding context around this evolution. She said that since the 1980s, policy debate around technology has transformed and that “tectonic shifts in the technical, economic and policy domains have brought us to a landscape that is more variegated, more dangerous and more hopeful than before.”

She added: “These technologies can and in many cases do make an important contribution to global challenges such as improving public health and quality of life…and increasing the efficiency of a range of industries…”

Yet, with billions of IoT devices deployed and trillions of dollars on the line in the coming decade, “global standards are needed,” Wynn added. She called these concerns “global” and said “new world policies and procedures” must be developed to ensure fair usage.

Interested in learning more about the Cyber Security Digital Summit? Visit for more info, and to register for free.

Be sure to keep tabs on CSHub’s latest content thread, as coverage will tackle many of these pressing cyber topics!