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Proliferation of IoT Continues to Shape Cyber Security Best Practices

Rob Chee, Iron Bow Technologies

March 30, 2018  |  Cyber Security  •  Digitization + IoT

Anybody who’s set up a home router has an opinion on the future of cyber security. From state-sponsored threats to bad workplace cyber hygiene, there are a million ways to explain why 2018 will be a trying year for cyber security experts.

With all the predictions undoubtedly swirling in your head, we’d like to offer some simple advice for this year that will protect your organization—whether those prediction-slinging, crystal-ball evangelists are right or wrong.

1. More IoT-connected devices will broaden an ever-evolving threat landscape

It’s easier than ever for cyber thieves to take over unsecure devices. A quick shopping trip on the dark web can yield several reasonably-priced botnet kits that, when launched, can infect a device with malware and spread that infection throughout a whole network—devastating an organization’s security structure.

Three popular botnet kits, including Andromeda, Gamarue and Wauchos, have been responsible for attacking more than 1 million devices per month, according to a recent CSO Online article.

And with Gartner predicting that people worldwide will be using 20.4 billion IoT-connected devices in 2018—that’s up nearly 50 percent from the number of devices in 2016—the threat landscape is widening at a furious rate.

That means, as more and more organizations connect more and more devices to their networks, cyber security must be a top-of-mind, already-integrated process. The best way to make sure you’re doing the right thing is to get a network vulnerability assessment done. This will shine a light on the weakness in your system so they can be fixed before an attack occurs.

The assessments aren’t meant to be a one-and-done process, though. As the threat landscape broadens, cyber security best practices must evolve as well. It’s important to continually monitor your vulnerabilities to attacks.

2. Threat visibility will be key to deterring cyber crimes

If you can’t see where attacks are coming from, you likely won’t be able to fend them off. Knowing not only the threat landscape, but also the nuances of that terrain, can be the difference between a successful attack and one that has been deterred.

Today’s networks face a diverse threat landscape while managing a growing diversity in devices. Mobile, cloud, virtualization and IoT all bring with them different risks. This increase in attack vectors makes threat visibility a critical component of IT strategy.

For example, the cloud offers a myriad of benefits including more agile and efficient networks, but modernizing away from traditional data centers means you move into a whole new world of cyber exposure, shifting the threat landscape dramatically.

Put simply, all of these new technologies—though incredibly beneficial to both our work and personal lives—creates holes in cyber security that you never knew you had before.

Iron Bow has the expertise to assess networks, provide cyber solutions that address security challenges and successfully deploy those solutions to provide protection against today’s advanced attacks.

3. Remediation is as important as deterrence

It’s a fact of life these days that your organization will likely be the victim of a cyber attack. That’s just the way it goes in a world of constantly-evolving technology. No one can catch every bad actor, not even the best of us.

And when the time comes, having a process already in place to mitigate the damage is the only way to come out relatively clean in a messy situation. Because of that, understanding how to respond to a cyber attack is as important as knowing how to prevent one.

It’s critical to have the security tools in place before attacks happen. Having that immediate visibility into how the attack entered the network and how wide it spread helps speed up response time and lessen the overall impact.

For example, if an organization is the victim of a ransomware attack and has the proper processes in place, the damage can be drastically reduced. Tools that increase threat visibility can track traffic from attackers to see they hijacked an account that had full privileges, including laptop and active directory rights.

By seeing that, the organization can turn off the rights for infected users in that part of the company and limit access for any work flowing from the user who was the root cause of the successful attack.

Defending an organization against millions of cyber attacks is no easy task, and it shouldn’t be done alone. At Iron Bow, we have experts who scan the latest threats and technology to make sure you’re protected. So if any of those dime-a-dozen predictions actually come true, you’ll be ready.

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