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The Business Value Of Pervasive Device; Network Visibility & Control

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Ramsunder Papineni, Regional Director-India and SAARC, ForeScout Technologies Inc.,,

ForeScout has pioneered an agentless approach to network security to address the explosive growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and operational technologies (OT)

It’s been observed that many organizations feel like attackers have the upper hand. Statistics continue to pour in showing that successful breaches are still occurring with increased frequency even though security spending continues to increase. News headlines constantly report data that was leaked from organizations of all sizes, large and small, and in every vertical. It is evident that security must be improved, but how can an organization know that its security spend is addressing the core challenges and not simply adding one more security product to an already overworked staff?

International Data Corporation (IDC) believes that one of the key attitudes for organizations to adopt is that of ‘already breached’. This attitude focuses on visibility and detection, with strong remediation capabilities. Instead of perfectly protecting each vector, this attitude encourages constant vigilance and the ability to respond quickly, making the organization’s security agile enough to meet the rapidly changing business and threat landscape.

Today’s IT landscape is much different than what it was 10 years ago. While the need to monitor the health of guest devices is still a key challenge, there are many other factors driving the need for visibility and access control.

BYOD impacts networks: The exponential growth of BYOD and the potential of IoT place unprecedented demands on both the wireless and the wired network. Administrators not only need to accommodate a greater amount of traffic but also need visibility into a range of devices that they have not had visibility into before. Employees must access the corporate network from almost anywhere without compromising network or application security.

IoT challenges are growing: In addition to users bringing their own devices onto the network, the number and types of devices associated with each user have also increased. IoT devices ranging from sensors to video cameras are finding their way onto IT networks, causing significant challenges for security teams, which may not even know that these devices are on the network.

Organizations need to maintain consistency in how security is applied across the entire network infrastructure


Consistent policies must be applied regardless of the device. Most IoT devices don’t run on traditional operating systems and therefore can’t support software agents. Alternatively, new devices present new attack vectors that must be protected against.

Visibility and automation are key: The complexity of today’s network environment demands manageability that allows for quick and consistent deployment of policies. Organizations must have tools available that allow them to visualize the network and the devices on it. They must have tools that provide for consistent policy delivery and automated response to incidents as they occur.

Organizations must determine the security policy across all devices: At the end of the day, organizations bear the ultimate responsibility for securing their networks and data. Organizations need to maintain consistency in how security is applied across the entire network infrastructure-wired or wireless and regardless of device type or user.

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