Securing the Internet of Things

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Five Security Budget Tips for 2011

Five tips that IT organizations should use to remind the business side why it needs to invest in security.

As more and more devices get connected to the Internet, the attack vector available to cyber criminals is starting to increase dramatically.

The number of devices connected to the Internet beyond traditional computing devices has expanded to the point where it makes financial sense for large numbers of malware distributors to target, for example, kiosks and automated teller machines (ATMs). But it's also clearly just a matter of time before those types of attacks become something more than just isolated incidents.

At RSA Conference 2011 in San Francisco this week, the folks at IBM will be talking up their efforts to secure these devices alongside smartphones and a range of other mobile computing devices, which many regard as the next big target for all kinds of malicious malware.

In addition, IBM has rolled out Tivoli End Point Manager, which is based on the technology that IBM picked up when it acquired BigFix last year. As a provider of a managed system and security services, BigFix gives IBM a platform that the company can expand to secure a broad range of end point devices.

In fact, by 2015, IBM estimates that there will somewhere in the neighborhood of one trillion devices connected to the Internet. The vast majority of those devices will probably still be traditional end user computing platforms such as smartphones, servers, PCs and tablets. But it's also clear that the rate of growth of embedded systems connected to the Internet is far higher than traditional IT systems. That means, says Amrit Williams, director of emerging security technology for IBM Security Solutions, it won't be too long before IT organizations are asking hard questions about how to truly secure all the "Internet of things" that are connected to the enterprise.

After all, it only takes one device to be compromised to put the entire enterprise at risk. And as most IT organizations have learned through hard-won experience, cyber criminals almost never come through the front door.

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