At Trend Micro we’ve made it our business over the past 30 years to anticipate where technology is taking the world. That’s why our message has evolved over that time from Peace of Mind Computing to Your Internet Firewall and most recently Securing Your Journey to the Cloud. Well, we know that things are evolving again, as the Internet of Things drives an evolution in IT infrastructure, user behavior and cyber-threats. That’s why it was great to take our new message Securing the Connected World to an audience of Industry 4.0 experts at Hannover Messe last week.
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If we want this next industrial revolution to be a success, we need to bake cybersecurity in from the start, and that’s going to require a whole new way of doing things.
The insecure connected world
Trend Micro has managed to stay relevant over the past three decades because in many ways our formula for success hasn’t changed. We anticipate shifts in IT infrastructure, embrace changes in user behavior and adapt protection for the new threats we encounter. Driving this change is the Internet of Things. According to some analysts there are as many as 12.8 billion connected things in the world today. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly twice the population of the planet – a staggering number. And it’s growing all the time: Arm predicts it will reach one trillion by 2035.
IoT technology is already permeating every corner of the industrial world to make companies more cost effective, productive and agile. It’s no surprise the market for IIoT is set to be worth $934bn by 2025. But as organizations invest more and more heavily in IIoT technologies and processes, they threaten to expose themselves to greater cyber-risk. Ransomware is actively targeting network infrastructure and industrial equipment, while IoT endpoints could be hijacked to remotely control or sabotage industrial machinery. Attacks can also compromise poorly protected IoT devices and use them to launch DDoS attacks or serve as proxies for other raids.
The threat will only get more pronounced as the bad guys use machine learning and cryptography in a bid to escape detection. So how do industrial stakeholders respond to this new cyber-threat?
A new approach
We can’t simply try to fit existing cybersecurity approaches into this new world. For one thing, the IoT is much different from traditional IT environments. We’re not just dealing with TCP/IP traffic, there are a huge number of new protocols to get to grips with. Then there’s the sheer volume of endpoints to consider, and the associated traffic. They connect not through a traditional gateway but directly, which requires a new kind of security at the network edge. Then there’s the problem of IT skills: they’re already in increasingly short supply and will need to adapt further to take account of the growing convergence of IT and OT worlds.
This is particularly apparent in manufacturing and Industry 4.0 environments. Enterprises will therefore need a new mentality and architectural approach to succeed in this brave new world. Next Generation Security Operations Centers will be a must-have: overcoming traditional challenges of alert fatigue, poor visibility, and slow response times. Trend Micro’s answer is to use AI to prioritize alerts, automate the correlation of threats across layers in an optimized fashion, and tightly orchestrate a connected response across IT and OT.
At the show
It was great to talk to so many experts from the industrial and manufacturing sectors, at Hannover Messe last week. These are the guys at the frontline when it comes to cyber-threats. Given the repercussions of a successful attack, the stakes don’t come much higher than here. That’s why we were keen to demonstrate on stand how cyber-attackers could disrupt a smart factory, causing physical damage on the production line or a ransomware outage spread from office computers.
It was also important to reach out at the show because, ultimately, the only way we’re going to stay one step ahead of the bad guys is by working closely together. That’s why Trend Micro is collaborating closely with ISPs on Virtual Network Function-based security; with industry to research and gather intelligence on new vulnerabilities; with embedded computing developers on innovative new solutions; and with enterprise customers.
Because only with effective cybersecurity can we accelerate the development of our connected world.
To find out more on these themes, please take a look at my presentation at Hannover Messe.