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Top 3 Considerations for Enterprise IoT Security

Enterprise IoT discovery, behavioral profiling, and advanced threat detection & response

February 18, 2020

Enterprise IoT, those connected devices you increasingly find on your organization's network like printers, VoIP phones, smart boards and TVs inside your network, is growing at a massive rate and is expected to reach USD 58 billion by 2023. These devices represent an uncontrolled risk that the majority of organizations don't have visibility into.

Challenges of IoT devices and the Enterprise

The next generation of IoT is becoming more than a group of devices, and has morphed into mission critical enterprise-wide services that leverage edge-computing and modern hybrid architectures. This new paradigm requires high levels of uptime and most importantly improved security measures.

The security challenges of enterprise IoT devices on your network:

  • It's not just the IoT device itself, it's the service layer they are a part of
  • There is a lack of visibility into both known and rogue IoT devices connecting to the network
  • Not all IoT devices were designed with security in mind and contain clear text passwords and implemented without encrypted communications.

Further exacerbating the risk, IoT and Security teams seldom, if ever, collaborate on IoT strategy and deployment. To provide effective security both teams need to work together to ensure continuous operational visibility and situational awareness of IoT infrastructure.

IoT Visibility with Zero Disruptions

IoT visibility is one of the top challenges organizations face. Not all IoT security is planned and you need visibility of those rogue devices and what they are talking to. In addition, you will need to see the device make and model, it's desired function and what services it is a part of to understand the risk.

As enterprise IoT devices become more prolific, attackers are exploiting the devices as an easy avenue to penetrate enterprise security defenses. Traditional network and endpoint security solutions, like NGFW, IDS, NAC, and EDR are insufficient to address the dynamic IoT security challenge because they lack the proper visibility, situational awareness and data analytics to detect and correlate events.

The way that most IoT security applications address the problem is to add yet another point solution to the security stack ultimately creating more alerts and noise for SOC teams to manage and respond to on a day-to-day basis.

Security and IT operations teams need a continuous and comprehensive view of IoT devices and services across their environment to:

  • Quickly gain visibility without deploying agents, impacting operations, or disrupting IoT services
  • Continuously discover and classify IoT devices and services for an always up to date view of IoT infrastructure
  • Behaviorally profile IoT devices and services to deliver a complete picture of how devices act, interact, and communicate across the environment

Advanced Behavioral and ML-Driven Detections

Cybersecurity is an asymmetric battle, with SecOps needing to defend an ever-expanding and complex environment. Data science promises to help stretched SOC teams keep up, complementing traditional detection methods using signatures and complex rules logic.

Building on a strong foundation of discovery and profiling, Reveal(x) utilizes all available techniques to deliver real-time detection capabilities for IoT security:

  • Using advanced, cloud-scale machine learning to detect behavioral anomalies and threats in real-time, Reveal(x) can detect if IoT devices have been compromised or if behavior deviates from profile.
  • Reveal(x) complements machine learning behavioral detections with a broad spectrum of detections capabilities to detect specific known attack types.
  • Reveal(x) also incorporates threat intelligence to match known malicious domains and IPs.

Finally, it's not a matter of if a security event will happen, but when, and IoT is no different. The challenge is that traditional security methods are not only blind to IoT threats but provide very little investigative workflows to scope and respond to an event. This leads us to the third core capability needed to address the IoT threat: intelligent response.

Intelligent Response That Rises Above the Noise

Detection of IoT threats is not enough, especially with many enterprise SOCs having to triage hundreds or thousands of alerts each day. Analysts need context to be able to quickly understand in seconds whether a detection is valid or not, and then the ability to rapidly prosecute investigations if the detection is legitimate—answering questions such as, "What other peers did this device communicate with, and what did they communicate?" "Did attackers access sensitive data? And if so, did that data leave the environment?"

ExtraHop Reveal(x) helps SOC analysts to quickly triage and validate detections, turning a single analyst into an army, able to rapidly investigate and respond to attacks:

  • Reveal(x) automatically gathers contextual information, related detections, and packet level details into a single workflow to streamline and accelerate response actions
  • Security teams can leverage guided investigations to quickly determine the impact and scope of an IoT event and easily drill into forensic level details if necessary.
  • Initiate automated response via existing security tools (blocking, quarantining, etc.)

If enterprise IoT security is a rising concern for your organization, learn more about ExtraHop Reveal(x) IoT security capabilities.

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