The Internet of Things and IT Asset Management
In October the BBC reported that Twitter, Spotify and Reddit were among the many Web sites taken offline via a DDoS attack using the Internet of Things (IoT). In this case it was believed that the attack had mainly used unsecured CCTV cameras from a number of Chinese manufacturers.
These devices have default passwords that cannot be edited, making them easy to control once the password has been hacked. While you may be totally unaware that any such devices on your network are being used for nefarious purposes, this is a problem that needs addressing.
What is the IoT?
The internet of things, or IoT as it is commonly known, is not new. IoT is simple is it devices connecting over the internet which allows them to talk to us, application and one another. A common household example is smart meters used within the home to control heating. These smart meters allow you to remotely turn your heating on, off, up or down. Smart meters may even communicate with smart phones to monitor when a device has left the home and consequently turn the heating off.
Why IoT and ITAM are important
You may not think that this will affect you as an organization as most of the publicity for the IoT has been focused around consumer devices like being able to control your central heating from work. But, this is likely to change.
There are many commercial applications of the IoT beginning to emerge from manufacturing to medical and transportation to media, and these will impact on how you manage IT assets within your organization.
The example given is a prime case. Imagine having a number of assets on your network that can be easily taken control of by a third party. While the CCTV cameras were used to mount an attack external to who owned them, what would be the case if the device gave them a back-door access to your network?
Securing your resources
This problem is likely to increase as IoT devices become more sophisticated, collect data and start to communicate with each other. As a result, you need to be aware of any IoT devices on your network to ensure that you know they are as secure as any other network attached device.
This requires a good automated IT asset discovery tool that will be constantly monitoring your network for new devices. Once discovered, you can then put in place the necessary checks and processes to ensure that the device is fully secure and not likely to cause you problems in the future.
Fortunately, the AssetStudio SAM suite products have the strongest discovery capabilities of any ITAM technologies and are capable of discovering IoT devices on your network. This allows you to keep track and monitor you network proactively, ensuring you remain secure.