Jeff Hussey profile picture

Jeff Hussey

President, CEO and Co-Founder

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) continues to be all the rage these days, but what does that really mean for us as a society in the broader context? All these ‘things’, including vending machines, Point-of-Sale systems, biomedical devices, HVAC systems, etc., are being connected onto networks. Seems like everything needs to connect and communicate, but we need to think carefully about the implications.

More Internet-connected devices and things have simply created more opportunities for bad actors to gain access to networks and sensitive information. Take, for example, medical IoT, where devices like infusion pumps, PACS systems, mobile x-ray units, EKG monitors, etc., are increasingly being connected across hospital networks. As hackers take advantage of historically lax security on medical systems and embedded devices, defending medical instruments has taken on new sense of urgency.

Having your information stolen is one thing, but what happens when a bad actor decides to put people in life threatening danger like hacking an insulin pump to administer a fatal dose?

Now we’re talking about the Internet of important things.

It’s my job to wake up every day and inform and educate customers. Every ‘thing’ is connected, and the only responsible approach is to consider the cost and consequences of a breach, and take the steps to mitigate that risk. Who’s doing that in your organization?

What keeps me up at night are the ‘worst-case scenarios’. We’ve already witnessed the near shutdown of 16 hospitals across the UK, which caused chaos and even prevented staff from completing scheduled surgeries. Then there are airline carriers with outdated systems and countless entry points that make them highly vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. It’s already been reported that hackers could access aircraft flight controls and air traffic systems, but I won’t dwell on that thought.

Suffice it to say that IoT will never successfully take off using current networking and security practices. Tempered Networks’ mission is to make it incredibly easy to protect the important or vulnerable ‘things’ that impact our safety and well-being.

The good news is that there’s a better way forward to secure IoT and IP communications by using identity based segmentation, where only provable identities can be networked. The best part is that it’s easy because of recent tech innovations that abstract the complexities of traditional networking. Mere mortals can deploy and maintain identity defined networks at enterprise scale. Contact us today so we can help you securely connect your world important things.