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Cisco Threat Defense Service Looks To Secure IoT Devices

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

Security platform focuses on segmenting connected devices to help defend against growing IoT cyber threats

Cisco’s new Internet of Things (IoT) security service will look to reduce the threats targeting the ever increasing number of connected devices.

Announced at Cisco IoT World Forum in London, CEO Chuck Robbins described Cisco IoT Threat Defense as an architectural and services platform that segments connected devices on the network to defend against cyber threats.

The service will be officially announced at Cisco Live in June, but we were given a sneak introduction this morning to whet your appetite.

Cisco Chuck Robbins

IoT security

Depending on which report you read, the number of devices that will be connected over the next three to five years is predicted to be anywhere from 20 billion to 50 billion.

Not only does that influx of traffic put a huge amount of strain on business networks, it also significantly increases the attack surface which we know cyber criminals are only too keen to exploit.

“Security is absolutely foundational, The threat landscape in this world is getting so much bigger,” said Robbins, citing last year’s high-profile DDoS attack that spread around the world through internet-connected CCTV cameras.

“The surface for threat is going to increase exponentially and we have to have to have a robust end-to-end architecture to solve this. The times of buying forty or fifty best of breed products and trying to stitch them all together are over because by the time you pull all that data together and you do all the analysis, it’s probably too late.”

This is where Cisco IoT Threat Defense comes in, a tool that will be heavily focused on device segmentation to ensure that, even if devices are compromised, organisations can stop them from being used as gateways for attackers to move through the network.

The architecture aims to provide businesses with visibility across their network, combined with traffic analytics to help identify breaches early and segment compromised devices before attackers have a chance to do any further damage.

Cisco is also aiming to tackle the issue of scale, as policies can be applied to groups of devices as and when they come online, such as security cameras or medical devices for example.

“If you think about automation, connectivity, security and policy, we need to bring all that together,” Robbins continued. “What you need to be able to do is define the characteristics of ‘things’ when they come on your network and based on those characteristics, the network should automatically segment and put those things on an appropriate segment that has an appropriate policy.”

“Or, if you’re not comfortable with the network automating, it you can define the policy and you can segment them. We want to give you that capability through IoT Threat Defense so that you can manage this effectively.”

Quiz: What do you know about the Internet of Things?