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article imageCyber criminals are exploiting the machine identity crisis

By Tim Sandle     Mar 2, 2018 in Business
As the number and type of physical devices on enterprise networks continues to rise rapidly, so does the risk of cyberattack. Businesses need to strengthen security, according to a new report.
It is not only physical devices that have increased in number; these have been outstripped by the number of applications and services they host. Cloud adoption has also led to an expanding wave of virtual devices. These changes have, according to Data Breach Today, expanded the definition of 'machine' to include a wide range of software that merely emulates physical devices.
The analyst firm has produced a new report called "The Machine Identity Crisis: How the explosion of machines is affecting the security of machine-to-machine communications." The paper focuses on the need for secure and reliable machine authentication in order to protect machine-to-machine communication. To assist companies, the paper identifies three key issues for analysis.
Reliable machine authentication
The first issue is the need for secure and reliable machine authentication to protect machine-to-machine communication. Of the various forms of communication, the most significant for businesses is the Internet of Things. Here IoT devices play an important role in the management the global critical infrastructure, everything from smart grid devices and virtual power plants; intelligent transportation systems; health monitoring; and emergency notification systems.
Because data captured from IoT devices needs to be transmitted to a central location for collection, storage and analysis, it is imperative that these communications be authenticated and protected. As the report points out, this will be challenging for many businesses.
Integrity of communications
The second area of analysis is with the need to create, install, rapidly assess and ensure the integrity of communications between machines. This is most evident with mobile devices. Here, the report notes, businesses face a rising pressure to uniquely identify and authenticate each device so it can authorize secure communication between mobile devices, enterprise networks and the Internet.
Cyberattack
The third and final area examined by Data Breach Today is cybersecurity. Cyber criminals will seek to target machine identities for use in a wide range of cyberattacks. This necessitates vigilance on the part of many businesses. Many cyberattacks are starting to focus on big projects like public infrastructure — such as water facilities, healthcare facilities and power plants — according to the report. This means companies need to grapple with how to secure communication between IoT devices and network connections.
More about Cyberattack, Cybersecurity, Machines, machine identity