The Need for a New Security Fabric - Specifically for a World Filled with IoT

The 2015 edition of the ISSA International Conference in Chicago brought together some of the top minds in technology and security. The conference team packed the agenda with tremendous content and ran the event flawlessly. Still, two days was not enough (it never is) to cover everything we face in this crazy world of cybersecurity.

Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and the co-inventor of the Internet, carefully selected and then delivered the following as his opening remark for his keynote during the conference:  “We are losing the battle against security and safety.” 

During an interview following his own keynote the next day, Dan Geer, CISO at In-Q-Tel, also shared his position on the state of cyber security. “We are better than yesterday,” said Geer. “But are we moving fast enough?”

"One of the major challenges we’re faced with today is that these data centers have been protected by legacy security tools that don’t meet the digital and connected business requirements of today,” said Demetrios Lazarikos (Laz), CISO for vArmour. "These data centers can’t withstand what the future holds for them in 2020. The perimeter is gone in this new world—enterprises are embracing cloud, mobile, and IoT at lightning-fast speeds."

Think about the traditional product lifecycle. Products are constantly re-defined and delivered to meet new business requirements. When the product tires and expires, it gets replaced with an updated version.Today, however, products get delivered and they soon become “smarter” products, meaning these physical devices take advantage of some type of software application with a user interface to use and/or manage it. Since they are “smarter”, they have a need to learn, so they quickly become smarter connected products, designed to collect and share a massive amount of data from and with other devices and technologies.

  Image Source: vArmour

Image Source: vArmour

Assuming these smarter, connected products need to work with other same/similar products— and therefore require some sort of management and maintenance—they need to also become part of a product ecosystem. Of course, most products today have smart, connected, ecosystem-enabled versions straight out of the gate.

Take a medical device for example…

  Image Source: vArmour

Image Source: vArmour

“Medical devices have grown into really powerful solutions that can track personal and healthcare information,” said Laz. “These devices communicate through multiple ecosystems, connecting and communicating with both traditional networks and cloud environments.”

  Image Source: vArmour

Image Source: vArmour

This same model can be applied to automobiles, homes, office buildings and even a city infrastructure—the electrical grid, street lights, water supplies and more can all be smart and fit into a larger IoT ecosystem.

Although Laz’s presentation was vendor agnostic, he took the opportunity in an interview with me following his session to discuss how vArmour is looking to help the users of IoT by providing technologies designed to deliver complete visibility into the legacy datacenters as well as the cloud environments that support these IoT capabilities.

“Financial services organizations, telecommunications companies, healthcare providers, Internet service providers (ISPs), retailers, and government teams are all beginning to embrace IoT for a number of business and operational reasons,” said Laz. “As they do, they are all looking for ways to gain visibility into these complex environments such that they have a fighting chance to actually protect the data. As they approach this challenge, many have downloaded the free version of vArmour software as a first and very important step toward meeting this objective.”

Read the full article in the ISSA International News Room
(scroll down to "Day Two")