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Don't Go it Alone: Making the Case for IoT Cybersecurity Collaboration

By Special Guest
Jason Porter, VP, Security Solutions, AT&T
April 19, 2017

Today, it’s no secret that cybersecurity threats are growing more frequent and complex. Organizations regularly face threats such as spam, phishing, ransomware, or even DDoS attacks.

As an industry, we realize that cybersecurity threats are much bigger than any single organization. At RSA 2017 and Mobile World Congress, while technology companies were focused on delivering new solutions to help mitigate security vulnerabilities or reduce potential threats, three themes resonated across both conferences:

 • Collaboration is key: Either through formal agreements or informal discussions, leaders across the industry discussed that with the exponential growth in cyberthreats, no one can go it alone.

• Attackers have gone mobile: Where mobile devices were once used for simple communications, they have become primary tools for banking, working, and carrying out daily tasks. With this influx of new, valuable information available on mobile devices, more attackers have been looking for ways to crack mobile security.

• More devices are creating more security needs: The variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, ranging from hair dryers to shipment trackers and robots, are making it essential and challenging to find ways to quickly and effectively help protect each device.  

In looking at these themes, clearly IoT has become a critical piece of the security puzzle because each device could bring its own unique concerns. As businesses connect more devices to their networks, they are expanding the number of users, vendors, or manufacturers that could have access to their network. As this happens, they are potentially creating hundreds or even thousands of new entry points for attackers.

 The expansion of entry points has not gone unnoticed by attackers. In the first half of 2016, AT&T saw a 400 percent increase in scans of IoT ports and protocols across the AT&T network. There were also a series of major IoT-centric attacks on two Internet service providers.

Recognizing the need for collaboration to address these issues, AT&T joined in forming the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance along with other technology leaders to help develop new approaches to connect and protect this evolving industry.  




Edited by Ken Briodagh


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