December 8, 2015
Colby DeRodeff

How the Internet of Things Will Affect the Role of Analysts

<p>Security analysts have a tough job—gather tons of data, make sense of it, and detect potential security threats. And as the Internet of Things continues to multiply, all industries must continue working together to solve its related challenges, and security concerns in particular.</p> <p><strong>The Internet of Things</strong><br/> The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that allows these objects to collect and exchange data. Much like the ever-elusive “cloud” for data storage, the IoT can be tough to pin down. The term, first coined in 1999 at MIT by British analyst <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Kevin Ashton</a></strong>, refers to the physical connection of things to the Internet via sensors and infrastructure.</p> <p>It is sometimes also called the Internet of Objects and includes a wide range of “things” from built-in sensors in cars, to microchips in animals, to pretty much all connected devices. It also refers to the massive amount of aggregate data that is sent and received via these objects and the automation they are ushering in. Experts predict that the <strong>Internet of Things will reach 25 billion “things” by the year 2020.</strong> That is a lot of “things” to secure, so how can analysts keep up?</p> <p><strong>What is at Risk?</strong><br/> The Internet is essentially a tool for gathering and sharing information. And the “Internet of Things,” including connected devices, is an extension of that. Analysts and security pros know that these connected devices not only represent a Pandora’s box of vulnerabilities, but also are potential low-hanging fruit for hackers.</p> <p>The constant stream of information sharing combined with the desire to always be connected means that someone or something must ensure the security of devices and connections. The detect-and-patch approach to IoT security will continue to fall short. In order to properly control security in this realm, analysts must stay ahead of malice, and, for every new development; there will be malware following quickly behind. Hackers seek the path of least resistance, which can arise from human error or weak spots; threat detection, threat intelligence and automation can greatly reduce these vulnerabilities.</p> <p><strong>Managing the Risk of Things</strong><br/> The Internet of Things doesn’t change the need for security analysts and their critically important roles. What it does affect is how they approach their jobs. It will alter how many things must be secured and the tools necessary to ensure security of those great many things. They will require access to the highest-quality data derived from threat intelligence and information sharing. It will demand a united community of professionals dedicated to implementing the latest network security protocols.</p> <p>In addition, as more and more industries <strong><a href="" target="_blank">become the target of malicious attacks</a></strong>, it will affect where analysts are needed. It is no longer just financial institutions and high-tech businesses that are at risk. Hackers are targeting everything from healthcare to food services. Furthermore, hackers are not always outside the door, security breaches from inside organizations are becoming more frequent and more damaging than ever. So, as the Internet of Things continues to evolve so will analysts’ roles in forming an alliance against threats to some 50 billion things.</p>

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