Enhance Security for IoT Products Using Big Data Solutions

Security regulations and mandates regarding data protection require companies to log a large number of events to maintain compliance. With the global marketplace firmly established, rules outlined in regulatory directives such as the PCI (payment card industry), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), and others, are established to maintain the privacy of sensitive information. However, the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) has altered the way companies must perform security measures.

This shifting dynamic is the result of software indexing that fails to account for the growing presence of the IoT. Traditionally, companies utilize Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software to fulfill compliance performance requisites, which include security event logging and retention, as well as threat recognition, alerts, assessments, and responses. However, indexing data from firewalls, authentication, and anti-virus products is now only part of the picture.

 

Enter the IoT

Other event data (like that from cloud platforms and mobile devices) must also be logged to ensure security, and networked physical devices that feature embedded operating systems are especially susceptible. These IoT devices contain indicators of advanced threats, particularly those that stem from customized malware or the theft of legitimate credentials, which are easily overlooked. Depending on the size of the company and the industry, the number of IoT devices vary, but some common ones include:

  • Point of sale terminals
  • ATMs
  • Imaging and medical systems
  • Floor kiosks (employee stations)
  • Electrical or industrial grid systems that regulate operations, and similar industrial control systems

Although these items facilitate productivity, they also present a security loophole. Without indexing the event data for these types of devices, if a cyber attack occurs, there’ll be no evidence to examine. However, by logging events from IoT devices, companies can track and respond to threats, often before the criminals have achieved their primary goal.

 

Big Data Solutions

Problems exist because of the current strategies used for compliance. SIEM software often suffers from difficulty managing the large amounts of event data being indexed from traditional security products, making the increased volume of data from IoT devices impossible to include. First, “connectors” are costly to build for an IoT product. Moreover, the fixed schema of a single, relational datastore compromises the log data and establishes a point of failure that hinders speed and scale. A rigid user interface (UI) that hampers customized searches and report building capability also makes it difficult for companies to perform ad hoc audit requests or specific investigations.

However, big data delivers actionable solutions for businesses by eliminating these issues. Big data solutions feature:

  • Flexible, low cost connectors that facilitate the onboarding of event data, including IoT products
  • Flat file store that establishes indexing of all data without requiring modifications
  • Quick scaling and speedy intake, searches, reports, and alerts, generated by a distributed architecture
  • Elastic search and reporting aptitude that allows companies to perform detailed investigations and respond in effective ways

Big data offers businesses heightened protection and improved compliance performance by delivering a software-based solution that is able to index massive amounts of machine and event data. With real-time searching abilities, hierarchy/role-based access, and specific log retention, it delivers enhanced security results. Plus, it can be deployed on premise, through a hybrid solution, or solely in the cloud. Moreover, many service agreements come equipped with pre-built searches to increase compliance efficiency.

Any business can enhance event logging and compliance performance using big data solutions that seamlessly incorporate IoT products.

Orchestrating Business Growth: 5 Reasons to Embrace Hosted Telephony

To support business growth, companies must reduce operating costs and implement strategies that improve productivity. Fortunately, hosted telephony service offers an actionable method for facilitating these goals. Introducing cloud based communications provide businesses with enterprise-level resources that reduce costs and usher in measurable improvements throughout the operation.

Although the concept of hosted telephony has been around for years, it’s only been within the last decade that the service has become practical for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). With cloud technology, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provides advanced audio quality and performance without requiring a huge upfront investment. Companies can access the latest communication tools without having to purchase, maintain, and manage expensive hardware systems. Following are five ways in which hosted telephony helps orchestrate business growth.

 

Minimal Capital Outlay

Hosted communications require very little capital expenditure to implement. The required equipment is IP phones, broadband access, and PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches to provide connectivity and electricity. Because transmissions are conducted through the cloud, PCs (soft phones) may also be utilized to make calls, but there are a variety of IP phone options available. Companies may choose the most basic designs or more advanced models that feature touch screens and monitor-like displays.

 

Enhanced Mobility

Another benefit of hosted service is enhanced mobility. Employees and remote workers may use their own devices to connect to the system via software applications. Moreover, satellite locations, regardless of the number of phones or workers present, can be seamlessly integrated. Since communications are conducted through the cloud, businesses are able to apportion numbers in various locations, and many service agreements offer free calling within the system.

 

Scalable Features

With hosted telephony, companies are able scale services (usually) on a month-to-month basis, easily add or remove users, and only pay for the amount of service they need at a given time. This feature dramatically reduces operating costs for seasonally-based businesses, and allows companies to expand service as required. Companies pay only for the number of subscriptions and features needed.

 

Improved Maintenance, Support, and Control

Rather than housing large quantities of hardware that must be upgraded every 5-10 years, cloud based communications are located at a colocation site and managed by the service provider. SMBs are able to benefit from having a full-time maintenance and support team available, without incurring the costs associated with traditional employment. Systems are managed through a basic software platform that can be accessed anywhere from any browser, making it easy to alter service or add features. Moreover, upgrades are conducted automatically, without having to purchase and install new software.

 

Lower Energy Use and Cost

With hosted telephony, the servers employed are typically advanced enterprise-level units that consume less energy, so usage makes less of a carbon footprint. By removing an on-premise phone control unit, the amount of energy consumed at the business is reduced, delivering lower monthly electricity costs. In addition, hosted telephony service contracts reduce long-distance and toll free calling expenditures significantly.

Companies can facilitate growth by moving to hosted telephony service. The improved performance and quality combined with lower costs and greater mobility creates a professional atmosphere that supports expansion and improved profitability.