IoT necessities: Is your company ready?

Ray Watson VP of global technology at Masergy outlines what CIOs and CISOs need to have to ensure their security capabilities and network are ready for the IoT

10Dec

The IoT is introducing sensors into virtually every process and device, transforming product-focused companies into service-oriented digital partners. Take these examples for instance:

Every step, machine, and supplier in the manufacturing process is becoming a shared data input, creating end-to-end digital supply chains crossing all parties involved.

Smart tags and visual tracking are giving retailers detailed data about shopping behavior that powers sales and marketing efforts.

Healthcare companies and financial services companies are using real-time data to monitor risk by the minute, creating more effective investment strategies and healthcare treatments.

But how do CIOs and CISOs ensure their security capabilities and their network are both ready for IoT? Taking a hard look at your IT infrastructure is the most important step for preparedness. Here are the necessities for IoT implementation.

Network agility and ease of management

IoT success is dependent upon the real-time delivery of data, which means your network must also have real-time agility. Modern, software-defined networks are best for IoT because they enable network scalability, deployment, centralized control, and offer IT teams the tools they need to ensure real-time application delivery. Application-based routing is essential.


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Unlimited network segmentation 

IoT security requires segmented networks, but these layered environments can cause IT complexity when rigid, legacy or carrier-grade infrastructures are present. Many of these solutions are not fit for IoT and their providers do not offer an unlimited number of virtual environments without additional fees. If you are giving your network a refresh, be sure to ask your potential provider about the turn-time and process associated with change management. Here are some suggested network services RFP questions that can help distinguish the leaders in secure hybrid networking as well as SD-WAN.

Deep network visibility

As the list of your connected devices grows, enterprise network traffic increases exponentially. Monitoring all that network traffic is one of the best ways to ensure the security of IoT. Having a complete history of all network activity that is both readily searchable and sortable in an easy-to-use console is the secret to deploying and managing IoT infrastructures while minimizing security risks.

Security backed by machine learning and behavioral analytics 

Security ecosystems with machine learning (ML) and behavior analytics "become aware" of the normal IoT traffic and are fine-tuned to identify anomalies and lateral moves. As IT teams are tasked with monitoring an increasing amount of network traffic from connected devices, these tools become a must-have. They multiply the evaluation power of existing resources, making the security teams smarter and faster in threat detection and response. If your team is unable to support the security demands of IoT, turn to managed detection and response services that offer ML and behavior analytics as part of an end-to-end solution.

Multi-flow data monitoring

Segmented networks are required for IoT, but these sophisticated environments call for security strategies powered by segmented flow data (multi-VRF security). Your security strategy should take the same segmented approach as your network, matching segmented virtual environments with multi-data-flow security monitoring. This way, the network design and the security operations work in synchronization. All too often, the network is designed without considering security. This adjustment solves that problem and allows enterprises to apply specific security rules and policies to each segmented network.

With advanced tools, technologies, and partnerships in place, enterprises will be able to accelerate IoT deployment, quickly communicating insights with every person, process, and manager at the end of each connection point.

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