Cisco Ramps up Security for Things with IOT Threat Defense

In-brief: Networking giant Cisco Systems said on Tuesday that a new package of products and services, dubbed IoT Threat Defense.

Networking giant Cisco Systems said on Tuesday that a new package of products and services, dubbed IoT Threat Defense that it says will help segregate critical systems used for medical care and in critical infrastructure like power generation and delivery or manufacturing from cyber attacks.

IoT Threat Defense is aimed at enterprises and industrial firms that are struggling to identify and secure a growing population of connected devices. It does not comprise any new products or services, but makes connections between a range of products and services that Cisco already offers, said Marc Blackmer, a Product Marketing Manager for Industry Solutions at Cisco.

The program focuses on four key areas: segmentation of operational and information technology (OT and IT), visibility, remote access and services, Blackmer said.

Segmentation is used to protect critical assets from exposure to attacks from adjacent devices. Internet of Things devices present particular challenges. Vulnerabilities in the underlying hardware and software used by the devices makes them easy targets for attack.

Cisco proposes a mix of its endpoint, network and cloud based security tools to secure the Internet of Things. That includes its TrustSec technology for policy based segmentation of IoT devices, the company’s Stealthwatch behavioral analytics technology and cloud-based Umbrella threat intelligence platform, AnyConnect remote access tool and AMP malware protection, the company said.

Blackmer said that the new program reflects Cisco’s dual role supporting both traditional IT environment and industrial firms with substantial operational technology environments. Historically, those two groups have operated separate from each other, but increasingly IT and OT are converged, while attacks are capable of bridging both worlds. For example, recent ransomware attacks have affected both critical care systems in hospitals and fare systems on public transit systems like San Francisco’s MUNI.

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