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September 15, 2016updated 03 Oct 2016 4:40pm

Network access policy must change to address IoT

Enterprise Network access policy must change to prevent IoT attacks, says Gartner.

By Hannah Williams

Organisations face increasing issues identifying Internet of Things devices, and are characterising them as part of the current network access policy, according to Gartner Inc.

According to Gartner, the issues are likely to increase as 21 billion IoT devices will be used worldwide by 2020, looking to outnumber laptops, tablets or smartphones by a wide scale margin.

A total of 6 percent of these devices will be in use for Industrial IoT applications. As many will be used within the enterprise network, it becomes more important for that IT managers work together with their organisations to identify all devices and projects connected to the enterprise infrastructure and attaching to the network.

Tim Zimmerman, Research vice president at Gartner said: “Having embraced a bring-your-own-device strategy, organisations must now get employee devices on the enterprise network and start addressing the 21 billion IoT devices that we project will want access to the enterprise network.”

The IT organisation must create or modify the network access policy as part of an enterprise policy enforcement strategy, one all devices attached to the network are identified. This will then determine how IoT devices will be connected and the role assigned to govern access.

While more IoT devices are being added to the enterprise network, IT leaders will need to create virtual segments.

Gartner identified that this will give network architects the ability to separate all IoT assets from separate network traffic, with support from other enterprise applications and users.

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Zimmerman added: “Whether a video surveillance camera for a parking lot, a motion detector in a conference room or the HVAC for the entire building, the ability to identify, secure and isolate all IoT devices- and in particular ‘headless’ devices- is more difficult to manage and secure.”

The concept of virtual segments continues to mature, meaning the capabilities will allow network architects to prioritise the traffic to defer the segments on the network.


Figure shows IoT adoption by 2020, as predicted by Gartner.

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