Recently on my drive home, I noticed one of those odd-looking, self-driving taxis from Waymo. After a brief fixation on the technology—360 cameras, sensors and lasers—mounted to the car’s exterior, I turned to look inside. Not seeing anyone in the driver or passenger seats was as interesting as it was unnerving. “Welcome to the future,” I said to myself, “the concept of self-driving vehicles has finally arrived.” I’ve studied the underlying technology enough to know that if a human isn’t driving the car, there are technologies, including GPS, communicating with this vehicle to keep it on the roads and accident-free. While not foolproof, it does seem to work pretty well.
Autonomous vehicles are just one of the billions of devices involved with the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Gartner, over the next two years the number of devices comprising the IoT will expand to around 20 billion. And, based on these growth projections, the market will expand from $170 billion in 2017 to more than half a trillion dollars by 2022 (MarketsandMarkets). While very cool and exciting, for those involved in cybersecurity, it’s also a little bit frightening.
A Brave New—and Dangerous—World
In Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It,
cybercrime consultant and founder of the Future Crimes Institute, Marc Goodman, has done a great job illustrating the expanded vulnerability associated with increased hyper-connectivity. Every device connected to the IoT provides one more entry point for a criminal hacker to infiltrate networks and access valuable data, and yes, potentially take control of a self-driving vehicle we may be riding in someday.
For many, pondering the dangers presented with hyper-connectivity is just too disconcerting. It’s human nature to avoid the negativity of risk and consequence, but doing so doesn’t make it go away. Ignorance may be bliss, but its comfort is fleeting. If I wasn’t in the cybersecurity profession, I too may ‘opt in’ to the comfort of this approach, but I can’t. I read and I speak to vendors and customers, daily, who work with corporate America. Every day I’m learning something new about how the bad guys are exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access to information and selling it on the dark web. Goodman refers to these individuals as working for “Crime, Inc.” – a fictional company he uses to illustrate how cybercrime has become a high-profit, high-growth industry. Sadly, experts predict its rate of growth will only increase.
As a cybersecurity consultant for Tech Data, one of the world’s largest global distributors, I work with thousands of customers who sell IT solutions and services to end users globally. As a value-added distributor (VAD), we’re continually looking for ways to add value for our customers; to arm them with the capabilities that allow them to offer their end users best-in-class support.
Recently, Tech Data launched its RECON™ Security Suite. A suite of security solutions that plug gaps in cybersecurity resulting from the nefarious acts of cyber criminals who perpetrate cybercrime. These solutions, although new to the market, have been thoroughly vetted and tested. RECON Security Suite represents advanced technologies unfamiliar to most companies. Each technology falls into one of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework classifications of Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover. Each of these are covered under the new Security Suite. Below is a brief description of each solution by brand name and vendor, along with a brief description:
- RECON SOC by CYBERShark: Monthly subscription that provides 24/7, cloud-based monitoring of security infrastructure to correlate and identify threats, as well as recommend remediation.
- RECON Policy by Security Colony: Annual subscription that shares and accesses a library of security policy documentation, as well as leverages vendor risk assessments and accesses breach monitoring data.
- RECON Radar by Pwnie Express: Monthly subscription that discovers, fingerprints and inventories all IT and IoT devices, monitors their behavior by looking for indicators of compromise or sabotage and neutralizes the threat.
- RECON Priority by Cyr3con: Monthly subscription that prioritizes vulnerabilities specific to an organization based upon developed exploits and chatter found by searching the deep and dark web.
- RECON Risk by Arx Nimbus: Annual subscription that provides quantitative modeling of security risks, which advises executives on financial impacts of mitigating those risks or not.
- RECON Restore: Using multiple vendors (varied subscriptions), RECON Restore provides backup and recovery solutions, which can restore a system from catastrophic ransomware or malware attacks.
- RECON ProServ by Tech Data: Hourly-based services providing security-focused consulting and managed services offered by Tech Data and our trusted “services only” channel partners.
Where Do We Go From Here?
There’s no way to stop the IoT, nor should we or even want to. There are huge benefits to a connected world. Yet, with all the positive advancements in technology, there are negative elements associated with each that must be addressed. The bad guys are working together and sharing information to take advantage of those who aren’t properly protected. Assessing risk by consulting with cybersecurity experts to make sure networks and systems are safe, is imperative. No one can afford to go it alone. Failing to close security gaps may find us in the backseat of a self-driving automobile that’s been unknowingly hacked and headed for disaster. As such a scenario illustrates, the risk too great to chance. Tech Data’s RECON Security Suite has the tools to disrupt “Crime, Inc.” Reach out the Tech Data Security Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and see how we can help you.
About the Author
Jade Witte, prior to working for Tech Data as a cybersecurity solutions consultant, has spent more than 20 years in the IT industry in various sales, sales management and executive roles. Most of his career has been working for national VARs, as well as Global Service Providers focused on providing solutions for mid-size to Fortune 500 customers in IT security, networking, data storage, unified communications and cloud computing. What’s more, Jade founded a successful software development company that was one of the early pioneers of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). He’s been recommending IT security solutions to customers his whole career. Jade is very concerned about the rapid growth and impact of cybercrime globally and passionate about the need for effective cybersecurity in businesses today.