Last year Cisco predicted that 31 billion new connected devices would be added to the Internet and 75 billion devices by 2025. At the time, no one could have imagined the post-pandemic environment we are in today. For National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2020, it’s critical to educate users that the Internet of Things (IoT) is here now and to prepare for the future of IoT, there must be a strategy in place to secure every device.
The IoT is where devices are connected and can talk with each other and gather, transmit, and automate the collection of data. Think beyond personal smartphones, laptops, wearables, to even sensors that can be in your home, vehicles, infrastructure. With each of these connected data points, the attack surface is widened, creating new opportunities for cybercriminals.
“Whenever something is connected to the Internet there’s a risk for it to be hacked,” Shawn Motley, Director, Cisco Product Business Management for SYNNEX Comstor, told us in a recent interview. “There’s also a risk in how the data from the IoT devices will be used. Can the data be used to exploit people and the activities they’ve done while wearing a connected device? These risks make securing the devices and the network they talk with extremely important.”
Motley explained that now more than ever, in a post-pandemic environment this demand for connectivity and access to data is more pressing. “As we’ve moved to a more remote enabled environment, smartphones, tablets, wearable technology, etc. are much more commonplace as devices we use to get business done,” he said. The connectivity enables more real-time access to the data needed to make faster decisions.
Motley and his team of Cisco Product Business Managers are helping Cisco partners stay on top of the future of IoT and the trends that impact it. As more devices connect to the network, it is critical to understand the security risks and take steps to authenticate and secure each of the endpoints.
“It is critical that security measures be put in place for IoT devices and their networks,” Motley told us. He told us that Cisco has several solutions in place for partners to take advantage of as they help their customers create an IoT security strategy. These include Cisco DUO for multi-factor authentication, Cisco ISE an Identity Services Engine which streamlines security policy management, Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) which is critical for endpoints and networks, AnyConnect for Virtual Private Network (VPN) protection, and Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) are all great places to start.
In addition, Motley’s team at SYNNEX Comstor has “dedicated resources that help our partners understand these solutions and which is best for their needs. We offer demos and Proof of Value (POV) regularly to our partners, as well as training that helps our partners build confidence when selling and deploying Cisco solutions,” he told us.
There is no doubt the that future of IoT will continue to grow, and as it does, Motley noted that “SYNNEX Comstor can help get you prepared for that growth through our EDGE programs and expert resources. It’s as simple as reaching out to EDGEPrograms@Synnex.com. We’ll help you build and grow a strong and profitable Cisco business practice.”