When we think of the internet, we typically think of a diverse network enabling users to access information and applications from personal computing devices. However, we are now seeing an explosion in the volume of machine-to-machine interactions occurring across the internet. Products from home appliances, to cars and industrial equipment are rapidly evolving into connected, smart, network-enabled systems that interact with users, with each other, and with other connected services to vastly expand their functionality. This world of internet-connected devices is often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT).
As billions of devices become interconnected with each other via the internet, device and service vendors will need to rapidly re-think their approach to security. IoT devices connect over the public internet, so traditional approaches to network security will, by definition, be completely inadequate. Furthermore, many internet-connected devices have limited processing power – making running sophisticated security applications at the device level either impossible or prohibitively expensive in terms of performance and/or cost.
Cloud-based security networks will emerge as the de-facto approach to securing the Internet of Things. Devices will connect and interact through the secure cloud network, enabling policies to be automatically applied and ensuring that communications, devices and services are not compromised by bad actors. The sheer volume of connected devices will present interesting challenges for security vendors. Billions of devices, each engaging in thousands of interactions a day implies that there will literally be trillions of daily events to correlate, analyze and secure. This will require a new breed of security technologies, and likely new security vendors that have data science and machine learning at the core of their DNA.
A Look Ahead…
The world stands at an inflection point in the way in which enterprises use and interact with data, devices and applications. The changes that are already underway require vastly different approaches to security, and the cloud is at the center of how we will address these challenges going forward.
Ultimately the security industry will move from a stove-piped, product-based focus towards an integrated, cloud-based services approach that will enable enterprises to better manage risk and attain robust security postures.