How Does the Rapid Increase in Endpoint Devices Affect Cybersecurity?

Organizations have to manage more devices than ever before, creating vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad actor. HYAS Protect gives you complete visibility over the entirety of your network, alerting you to suspicious traffic and shutting it down.

A recent article in TechCrunch discussed the increasing likelihood that embedded devices will become a major target for ransomware attacks in the near future. While most embedded devices are not actually sophisticated enough to store and execute arbitrary ransomware code, the existence of these vulnerabilities raises questions about the security of IoT devices in general. Enterprises not only have to monitor a growing number of endpoints but an increasingly diverse array of endpoints. In a homogenous environment (e.g., every endpoint runs macOS or iOS), implementing a well-established endpoint security solution and policy is relatively straightforward. However, this is most definitely not the case for the vast majority of enterprises today. There is a proliferation of an almost endless number of different IT and OT smart devices from internet-connected coffee makers to medical devices, factory automation, and everything in between. How does an organization maintain the confidence to move forward in this environment?

The key is to look at the problem differently. Endpoint protection has traditionally been “on the endpoint,” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach. It’s a good component of a multilayered security strategy. However, it’s clear that the ever-increasing proliferation of IT and OT smart devices makes this approach impossible in a contemporary setting — so let’s protect them at the network layer. Because cyber attacks must communicate back outside of the enterprises they infiltrate, it is vital to continuously monitor all network connections for new, anomalous, unusual, and nefarious traffic. Often, these suspicious communications are indicative of some device on the network acting inappropriately. Having rapid visibility and control enables an organization to quickly identify the offending device and take appropriate action. 

Consider the 2016 DDoS attack on Dyn: An enterprise monitoring their outbound DNS would have seen a rapid and unprecedented spike in the volume of DNS queries. This would have immediately alerted them that something was amiss in the network, and with proper controls in place, the offending devices would have been rapidly identified and addressed. Let’s look at another infamous attack, the ransomware attack carried out in 2000 via connected coffee pots. How are you going to protect your enterprise against this kind of intrusion? Defending the endpoint itself may be quite difficult — perhaps even impossible — and each new connected device brings new challenges. This is why visibility into outbound network connections is so critical in this evolving world.

Protective DNS solutions fulfill this important role by continuously monitoring DNS traffic — providing the visibility, controls, and service assurances that enterprises need in front of their corporate and production networks. Given that every network is different, it’s critical to ensure that the Protective DNS solution you choose can easily integrate into your existing security architecture without affecting service availability or requiring changes to other components. 

That’s exactly how we designed HYAS Protect, with ease in mind. It can be deployed in a cloud environment or in your data center using an active or passive deployment model. It can integrate into your existing stack and provide visibility, alerts, and controls in whatever mode is required. 

There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle — smart devices will continue to proliferate in the workplace, but HYAS Protect can give you confidence that your security solution will provide the visibility, control, and service assurance your enterprise requires to keep moving full forward in this new threat landscape.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today for a demonstration!

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