Let’s get to the point on network security

Let’s get to the point on network security

With the expected growth in IoT and more devices being connected to networks, smart businesses and home users need to put protection for the whole network in place now.

There has been a lot of excitement in the last few years about the potential that the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring in the future. But the rise in the number of connected devices is also going to present some real challenges with respect to network security.

A recent article published on the BBC technology news pages highlighted the dangers of fax machines that are connected to networks providing a potential gateway for malicious programs to find their way onto the network.

While the main reason for this is the proliferation of older printers and fax machines that are still in use in many organisations, in the future, it’s going to be new tech’ that causes problems.

Aging tech

The article pointed out that in some organisations and industries – government was cited as one that had a particular issue in this regard and remarkably, so was finance – a lot of aging equipment that is still in use. This equipment, that was once state of the art, has since been superseded by new technology and subsequently the security features are now inadequate for business today. This problem can be easily addressed in some instances by replacing older, out-of-date solutions or by updating the firmware and security patches. However, it does highlight the need for the whole network and every device on it to be properly protected.

The increasing demand of IoT

The number of devices that are being connected to networks is growing all the time. As well as multiple mobile products – laptops, tablets and smartphones – we are starting to attach smart devices such as voice-activated controllers, smart lightbulbs and even smart locks to home networks. Businesses are starting to use IoT sensors and other devices to collect detailed information that can be analysed and used to adapt services and reallocate resources. The number of connected devices is expected to reach 55 billion worldwide by 2025, according to a report from Business Intelligence Insider.

Moreover, all these devices are connecting into cloud services and applications, with data traffic moving back and forth across the network and between multiple services and data centres all the time. Most businesses are already making extensive use of the public cloud, securing these network devices needs addressing right away.

With more devices and more complex interactions and connections, there is greater potential for back doors into the network to be left open, as emerging technologies start to become commonplace. There will be a need to protect all these entry points, but still provide employees with access to data.

A wider security issue

As the BBC article noted, it was not just old faxes that were the problem – some relatively up-to-date multifunctional devices were also found to be lacking in protection. You cannot assume that because a device is new, it will be secure. Every device that is connected to the IP network needs to be protected, as well as the network itself having inadequate protection.

Many businesses and homes will already have multiple connected devices and the number will only grow and grow. Implementing adequate protection right across the network will be essential. Smart organisations and tech-savvy consumers will be laying the foundations for that growth now, by implementing good and comprehensive business network and home network security that will give all the entry points onto the network and devices connected to it the protection they need.

Speak to one of our Security Experts to find the right network security solution for you and your business. Contact an expert.