The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to any product, item, or gadget that can connect to a network or to the internet at large. Every new IoT device connecting to your enterprise becomes a new part of your digital perimeter, the very first point of entry for hackers wanting to steal your data or destroy your IT environment.
Even when IoT devices become mass produced and more widely available, there a minimal number of manufacturers who are investing the resources or time to implement endpoint security into their products. Hence, a number of items come to the market and are purchased even before an individual realizes the security issues that come along with them. These are not just idle issues. Experts have proven that hackers could hold entire heating systems hostage through ransomware. Additionally, even when the manufacturers do implement firmware security into their devices, these are mostly weak and or produces security integration issues with legacy endpoint security solutions.
Just plugging an IoT capable device into your network and then walking away is considered to be a rough equivalent of installing a new entryway into your home. When left on their own, these devices will not have access to the essential software and firmware updates necessary to their defenses. Furthermore, ignoring IoT devices generates visibility issues, as they become blindspots in your security perimeter. Hackers will be able to easily establish a foothold into your network without your security team even realizing it.
Users and their endpoints are extensively considered to be the most vulnerable targets for cyber attacks. However, instead of assisting companies in proactively fortifying these at-risk targets and avoiding infection in the very first place, a number of the new solutions being offered encourage companies to agree to the fact that infection is bound to happen no matter what you do. Hence, the wiser investment, that line of thinking goes, is to concentrate on enhancing your potential to detect and respond to attacks after the fact.
A next-gen endpoint security solution is the need of the hour because legacy endpoint security solutions, given their age, are just not equipped to manage the IoT in the same way they are not equipped to manage modern threats. Hence, only a truly next-gen endpoint security solution will possess the capabilities and the threat intelligence to provide visibility into IoT devices and protect them from external threats. These endpoint protection solutions will be able to create alerts for your IoT devices and implement machine learning in order to prevent your security team from becoming overworked.