InfoGuard IoT in context with NAC

Why the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to revolutionise security

For an enterprise of today, such as yours, a strategy for the Internet of Things (IoT) is inevitable. The IoT is rapidly growing to become an important part of our professional and private life. How we can manage it, is not yet fully clear: what opportunities does it offer, apparently unlimited, and what chances and dangers does it bring along, are still to be fully understood. However, it is a fact that it is not at all easy to a) keep an eye on the devices connected to your network, and b) keep the appropriate security level on the growing number of devices. Nevertheless, we are convinced that by adopting Network Access Control (NAC) the security level can be increased, and time and money can be saved. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Then we won’t keep you in suspense anymore – this post tells you all the truth. 

IoT-Strategy in enterprises

Nowadays, IoT is a popular concept, a concept of the world. It has been estimated that by 2019 around 85% of Swiss enterprises will have IoT components in use, and this is a huge number. But what does the buzzword really mean? The Internet of Things consists of intelligent objects, such as wearables, sensors, and other electronic devices, connected to one another in an Internet-like structure. If this sounds too much like theory, let us give you an example of what it means in practice.

In the health care, for instance, patient data like heart rate or x-ray images are collected directly via IoT devices, and made available in real time to medical personnel and nursing staff. Compared to traditional stand-alone devices, the IoT technology offers...

  • Increase in efficiency
  • Decrease in data loss
  • More precision, so that the likelihood of a wrong diagnosis can be reduced.

The bottom line is that the deployment of IoT in health care does not limit itself to improving the care of patients; it also increases the productivity of caregivers. Why this happens, you can read in this study by our partner Aruba Networks.

Why did WannaCry have also a positive impact

The fly in the ointment is once again security. About 90% of all users of IoT in the health care sector have already reported at least one security incident related to the IoT. The latest incident, the one that sticks most in our memory, is the cyber-attack called “WannaCry”, which was launched against the British National Health Service. The attack was the result of the fact that in many instances people kept working with older versions of operating systems. But in spite of its negative effect, and of the amount of damage produced, still WannaCry” can be said to have had positive effects. This statement can be viewed as strongly polemic, but it shows something ruthlessly: that there is enormous room for improvement! Whether it be private enterprises or public bodies, we are all called to do our part. So it is important that before procuring IoT technology, the required security controls are put in place.

Whatever is networked, can be attacked

The IoT consists of a growing number of devices wanting to connect to your network, and this turns automatically into an increase of the attack surface. A massive increase, that is. To protect your network effectively, you need unified guidelines for all devices and all users; our partner Aruba Networks offers the right solution with its “ClearPass”.

The solution is called “ClearPass”

It consists of an intelligent policy management platform, based on NAC technology. Network access control is no new security technology; but it is a requirement. The following two factors make NAC ever more relevant:

  1. BYOD: In many companies, a growing number of employees and externals ask to carry their own devices along (BYOD - Bring Your Own Device). This increases the effort required not only for the management of data, but also for network security.

  2. Digitisation: Because of everything going digital, clients, partners and employees have a higher expectation of a seamless wireless experience. They are increasingly mobile, and they want to be able to access your network at all times and from all places. You need a good, solid solution if clients and employees must be better connected. In turn, this can lead to better business with clients, and higher motivation and productivity of employees. A win-win situation.

How you can live up to the requirements and optimise the effort

A NAC solution can let you fulfil these increased requirements, and at the same time afford you a clear view of benefits and costs. The whitepaper “Der geschäftliche Nutzen von Schutz und Authentifizierung von Benutzern kabelloser und kabelgebundener Netzwerke” shows that Aruba ClearPass, a next-generation network security solution, is more effective and attractive than ever, specifically in the following issues:

  • Better transparency in the authentication, and top protection of all devices
  • Comprehensive programming and deployment of security standards and guidelines for all different devices, BYOD solutions and IoT components
  • Simplified control and faster problem solving in mobility services
  • A secure and user-friendly guest login

 

These advantages make the definition of security much clearer, and your IT staff needs to invest less time in taking care of security failures and problems connected with network access. Moreover, the faster integration of devices can increase your employees’ productivity; you will need less IT support, and employees can dedicate themselves to other activities.

As you see, this results in several advantages. The corresponding effort is relatively small, and “ClearPass” can be integrated seamlessly in your existing network. All the above reasons prove that you too should consider adopting the new generation of NAC in your enterprise right away.
 

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Cyber Security , Iot Security , Network Security

Reinhold Zurfluh
About the author / Reinhold Zurfluh

InfoGuard AG - Reinhold Zurfluh, Head of Marketing, Mitglied des Kaders

More articles from Reinhold Zurfluh


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