Erik Giesa profile picture

Erik Giesa

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

IT’s task of delivering secure networking is challenging enough – just ask them! Now enter millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices looking to connect to the network and ask them again what they think of network security. Yes, IoT has been hyped for years, but it’s rapidly taking shape and adoption is accelerating. Gartner says over 20 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020, driving hardware spending of $1.4 trillion by businesses. And while all the talk is on the potential IoT devices can deliver, for IT teams it spells one big headache!

IoT devices have already been used in a massive DDoS attack, and that’s just the beginning. Forrester predicts that “IoT-based attacks will likely continue to grow in 2018, including those on both devices and cloud backplanes, as hackers try to compromise systems for ransom or to steal sensitive information,” according to a TechRepublic report.

Let’s face it; security is often an afterthought in the rush to harvest new technologies. And the role of IoT in digital transformation is causing many businesses to push forward, hoping to forestall or at least keep even with competitors. How are they going to connect potentially billions of devices securely? It’s not practical or viable with today’s networking solutions that rely on TCP/IP addressing.

There’s got to be a better way and there is!

Securing IoT devices in end-to-end private networks can be done with technology based on the Host Identity Protocol (HIP), which can connect and protect devices that can’t network or protect themselves.

Using device-based cryptographic identities (CIDs), HIP devices are natively cloaked and invisible to hacker reconnaissance and protected against DDOS, man-in-the-middle attacks, IP spoofing, and other types of network and transport layer attacks.

HIP resolves a fundamental flaw in TCP/IP that binds the identity and location of a device in an IP address. By decoupling these, the IP address functions solely as a resource locator, while the CID makes it possible to quickly and efficiently create secure network overlays that are invisible to hackers.

HIP enables organizations to transcend from address-defined networking to Identity-Defined Networking (IDN), where trust is based on provable, cryptographic identity. This shift is essential for the industrial IoT, where every connected device represents a new attack vector, increasing risk to the organization.

We are enabling businesses to embed provable identities in any IoT or Machine-2-Machine device with the first commercial implementation of HIP products and services. Our HIPswitches are being used to replace old IP radios and achieve secure connectivity for kiosks, POS systems, HVAC, robotics, manufacturing, p2p web services, and other applications.

Physical HIPswitches can securely connect legacy equipment that uses a combination of different protocols and topologies, or runs outdated or end-of-life software such as Windows XP.

The IoT holds great promise for many new business initiatives, and organizations shouldn’t have to hold back because legacy security schemes fall short.