Network security key for IoT, says NTT Communications

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The Internet of Things (IoT) requires secure networks that prevent cyber criminals from hacking the various IoT-enabled devices.

The findings are one of a number of key takeaways from NTT Communications’ Security 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report.

“The Internet of Things revolution has tremendous potential to enhance and improve daily life by enabling our devices to connect and communicate with our other devices,” said Michael Wheeler, executive vice president of NTT Communications Global IP Network at NTT America. “The key to facilitating the IOT is creating a network foundation that enables these applications and services to function in a safe and secure manner.”

Of the 1350 companies surveyed nearly 60% of respondents view IoT a potential security threat to their organisations. Conversely, a recent Gartner report found that almost 20% of organisations experience at least one IoT-based attacks in the last three years. In addition, by 2020 Gartner predicts that IoT will play a part in more than 25% of all cyberattacks.

“IoT continues to gain momentum and, in response to that, businesses need to proactively protect against IoT-related cyberattacks,” added Wheeler. “Because of the growing universe of connected devices, software and carriers in the IoT ecosystem, there’s also a need for increased industry collaboration to ensure a seamless and secure IoT experience for everyone.”

In 2018 alone the range and variety of cyberattacks has expanded to include denial of service, route hijacking and crypto currency theft, meaning that companies are looking for customised security solutions that align with their specific needs.

“When it comes to network security, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution,” continued Wheeler. “It really comes down to assessing each business area that needs protection and, along the way implementing iterative enhancements that provide the comprehensive security solutions that are required. To achieve this, global network operators are increasingly working with each customer’s internal IT teams, third-party vendors and industry groups to ensure that solutions are as customized as possible for each client.”

Unsurprisingly the report found that carriers continue to use automation, including software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV), as a way of reducing operational expenditures, improving customer experience and lowering the occurrence of human errors.

“We’ve been incorporating automation within AS2914 since the late 1990s and, as a result, what we have today is extremely sophisticated and comprehensive,” said Wheeler. “Automation is a win-win as it creates efficiencies and reduces costs for carriers while, at the same time, improving their customers’ network experience.”