on 06-06-201708:14 AM - last edited on 06-15-201701:49 PM by jason_cmgr
You are a network administrator, responsible for running a campus area network spanning several buildings within a business park. Your company, Widget Inc., runs a portion of its manufacturing, all shipping and receiving, sales, support, admin and HR out of the buildings in the office park. At the same time, you provide support for the remote sales reps and a few overseas employees that offer oversight to an off-shore manufacturer of some of your Widget components.
Fortunately for Widget Inc., the buildings in use are close together, sharing parking lots and allowing for direct cable runs between each. This makes for an easier to build, deploy and maintain campus network infrastructure. However, the diverse nature of the operations that Widget Inc. maintains requires a robust network infrastructure providing wired and wireless access to employees, and wireless access to guests and visitors. With all business functions of Widget Inc. accessing the same network, security concerns have arisen.
As the network administrator, you must identify what your requirements are for a secure means of network access, both for internal and external users and for wired and wireless. For years, you’ve run an Active Directory (AD) server with LDAP and some type of NAT for your Windows-based desktops. However, several new employees have stated that they prefer to use Mac OS-based computers, all staff use smartphones now and warehouse staff use tablets to facilitate a new inventory application that you have been testing. At the same time, the devices brought in by your suppliers and visitors run all sorts of operating systems, from Linux-based laptops to Google Chromebooks. All of these devices need access to the guest network.
bywalkerj03-21-201708:47 AM - edited 03-21-201709:58 AM
It’s no surprise that the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding. IHS predicts that the number of IoT-connected devices will grow to 75.4 billion in 2025. While greater connectivity increases innovation and operational flexibility, these devices raise concerns about network security.
In January 2017, the Government Business Council (GBC) surveyed 442 federal employees about the state of their network security and what their agencies are doing to secure the data at the edge. Sixty percent of respondents cited security as the most important performance feature when it comes to the devices and sensors their agency uses to transmit data, ranking above stability, speed and accuracy. Further, 89 percent of those surveyed felt it was very or extremely important that devices operating on the edge, such as IoT-connected devices, were secure from malicious attackers.
Despite this agreement, 58 percent of respondents are only somewhat, not very or not at all confident about the security of edge devices. The most commonly cited tactic for securing the edge is also one of the easiest approaches for hackers to work around: stringent password requirements. What is causing these security gaps? Insufficient funding, slow procurement and lack of technical expertise were highlighted as top challenges. However, agencies can take steps to protect their networks from the edge to the core.
These opportunities are only going to increase as government agencies integrate more Internet of Things (IoT) devices into supporting mission outcomes. What many may not realize is that occurring in the background is likely a wireless network that makes data retrieval from these sensors possible. For the federal government to capitalize on the potential of IoT, it needs a network that is scalable, integrates Wi-Fi technology seamlessly with cellular networks and can be easily deployed. These requirements can all be achieved with a few considerations.