Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning are coming together to bring about a sea change in how we use buildings, at home and at the office. Smart infrastructure makes domestic households more energy efficient and allows companies to optimize their real estate. Almost every large enterprise and government organization is currently working on smart infrastructure projects at some level. It’s no surprise that the market for smart buildings is expected to increase four-fold by 2021. The pursuit of greater efficiency and convenience, however, introduces new risks. Many IoT devices and management systems still run on legacy software and lack any kind of security standards. This makes them vulnerable to attacks by hackers. The answer is to build-in cyber-resilience from the beginning starting with securing all connection points using virtual private networks (VPNs).
Measures for cybersecurity are to be regulated at the European level in the future, according to the mandate of the European Commission. IT products and services may pass through a voluntary certification scheme in future under the aegis of the European IT security agency ENISA. At the beginning of this year, ENISA applied to the European Commission to extend its remit, including introducing an EU-wide program for certifying the security of IT products. This ranges from simple certification for IoT devices to complex evaluations of high-security systems such as banking applications. The significant cost differences in national certification schemes was named as an important consideration for establishing a centralized certification program.
We recently briefed Rik Turner, Principal Analyst of Infrastructure Solutions at OVUM Consulting, on our VPN client software (IPsec and SSL), VPN gateways, central management consoles and personal firewall product, Net Guard. Given our extensive experience in the manufacturing and process industries, we discussed the expansion of NCP technology into the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things.
People have become accustomed to using their mobile devices for the dual purposes of business and leisure. Yet, research shows when they travel they don’t really give the data on their devices a second thought. Instead they are much more likely to care about whether the hotel or apartment they are staying at has good Wi-Fi access. This reliance on public Wi-Fi on holiday risks exposing any sensitive business information on personal devices to hackers and snoopers. For this reason, it is best to always take your VPN technology with you on holiday to encrypt all Internet communications while away.
With over one billion active users worldwide, Apple continues to offer the most diverse product line from Apple Watches to Macs, to iPads and iPhones. As Apple’s 10 year anniversary approaches in September, big plans are in store for iOS 11 to bring new features to the iPhone and iPad this fall. While updates to the mobile operating system will enhance functionality, they will also bring additional security vulnerabilities into play that can expose personal data if it is not protected with proper security measures. For companies that have implemented a BYOD environment, iPhones and iPads must be monitored and secured with virtual private networks (VPNs) to avoid potential security breaches.
The ATM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Some of the oldest cash machines still in use today date back to an era when network security was relatively unsophisticated. Protecting connections between large numbers of disparate ATMs and the banks’ processing centers using VPNs is relatively straightforward. Yet, some banks have not yet taken adequate protective measures. As the Internet of Things gathers pace, the need to protect machine-to-machine communications is becoming urgent. Cybercriminals’ recent success in carrying out remote attacks on ATMs is a timely reminder of how important secure remote connectivity has become for M2M environments.