The introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is transforming business operations in a variety of industries, but perhaps the effects are most strongly felt in healthcare and industrial settings. While it’s easy to associate IoT with devices such smart printers and tablets, it also includes items like valve controllers and pressure monitors in industrial situations and heart monitors or infusion pumps in the medical field. While these advances are improving both of these industries in a variety of ways, they also introduce a new level of network vulnerability.
As these devices increasingly gain network access, they significantly increase the size of the security plane. In addition, they raise the enterprise risk profile and increase costs associated with compliance, management, and provisioning. In many organizations, the high level of network vulnerability is causing IoT initiatives to move from being network-led to security-led.
In order to protect enterprise resources, devices need to be assigned to a segment of the network, isolated based on policies and roles. Any devices that seem to be seeking to violate these policies must be removed from the network.
While security managers for the enterprise must monitor and address every device every time it enters and leaves the network, it only takes a cyber criminal identifying one vulnerability to attack the network. Further complicating the management of IoT is the sheer volume of devices, which can obscure visibility and overwhelm security resources.
Network Access Control (NAC) solutions provide the control and visibility needed to mitigate network vulnerability with IoT. While some security managers view NAC as a cumbersome and expensive tool, there’re new resources available that eliminate this concern. Today’s NAC solutions are cost-effective and efficient security tools, offering the following advantages:
- A detailed profile of every IoT device on your network, with total visibility and information about any vulnerable devices.
- All wired and wireless devices have a correlating authentication and context-driven policies that govern how and in what circumstances they can be connected to your network.
- Authenticated devices are assigned to the appropriate network segment.
- Devices are monitored to determine any unusual behavior and manage patches and updates.
- Initiate action immediately when any unusual behavior is detected on a device in the network.
- Correlate threat intelligence for any other devices that may have been compromised due to their proximity on the network to a device that’s been breached.
Securing your network has become more complicated in recent years with the added complexity of cloud solutions and IoT devices. When you’re interested in exploring options to protect your network, consider TailWind your “always on” partner for high-speed broadband, asset management, and expert field technician help. We offer technology project management so that you can implement a fleet of IoT devices without added network vulnerability. Contact us today to find out how you can secure your network with the industry’s most advanced tools.