New Defender for IoT offering designed to protect wired and wireless devices on any network
Extreme Networks this week unveiled technology it says can help organizations better manage the risks associated with a variety of embedded and connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The Lowdown: Extreme’s Defender for IoT includes a hardware network adapter and an associated Defender Application that team up on loosely secured IoT environments through a process of asset discovery, behavioral analysis, policy enforcement, and network segmentation.
The Details: With Defender for IoT, the adapter plugs into an Ethernet port and communicates with the app, which learns typical traffic signatures of connected devices and develops profiles that can be used in dynamically generated security policies to control where and how devices can communicate. Users can centrally monitor and track device usage, location, and roaming.
Defender offers Layer 2-7 visibility, and can be used to segment IoT devices into multiple, isolated secure zones to reduce network attack surface and limit an attacker’s ability to pivot off an attack on a device into other areas of the corporate network. Segmentation is accomplished via IPSec tunneling or, in the case of Extreme Fabric Connect users, via Fabric Connect Hyper-segments.
The Impact: Defender addresses an area of growing concern for many organizations — particularly in verticals like manufacturing and health care — and the service providers charged with protecting them. Most of the connected and embedded systems that comprise IoT environments come to market quickly, with little thought given to security.
Many run outdated, unpatchable software and include gross security vulnerabilities like passwords hard-coded into operating systems and a lack of any sort of defensive or anti-exploitation technology, such as firewalls, antivirus software, or encryption capabilities. On top of that, most are deployed on unsegmented networks with no trust zones, which leaves large chunks of the sensitive corporate network open to attacks that begin on the weakest link in the IoT chain.
Background: Symantec’s 2018 Internet Threat Report found a 600 percent increase in attacks on IoT connected devices from 2016 to 2017.
The Buzz: “Customers across industries struggle with IoT security. One of the most challenging aspects is the creation of security policies for a diverse range of devices,” said David Raftery, chief revenue officer at IT service firm Integration Partners in Lexington, Massachusetts. “This can be both time-consuming and fraught with error. Extreme’s Defender for IoT solution automates this task with its ability to learn a device’s typical behavior and then build a security policy that restricts its communication to only what is authorized.
“With the ability to then segment IoT devices into secure tunnels, Extreme provides our customers multi-layered IoT security over whatever network they have deployed today,” said Raftery.
“Businesses are extracting so much value from the IoT revolution that it’s easy to see why deployments are happening fast, and security should not be viewed as an impediment to that,” said Mike Leibovitz, senior director of product management and strategy at Extreme Networks. “With Defender for IoT, our goal is not only comprehensive security, but delivering it in a way that is simple and accessible to everyday employees to ensure business productivity is not affected by security protocol.
“When plugged into our Smart OmniEdge visibility and analytics applications, users can easily control IoT device communication, ensure devices can only communicate with the appropriate resources, and then leverage analytics to prove and measure the outcome,” Leibovitz added.