Archive for the ‘IoT’ Category

Top security trends in IoT

The continuous connection of smart devices across networks, commonly called the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving a transformation in how enterprises all over the world manage network infrastructure and digital identities.

With such rapid change comes new cybersecurity challenges. Many organizations are hesitant to tap into the power of the IoT due to the complexities and risk associated with managing such a diverse – and sometimes unclear – environment. But it is possible to secure your networks, enhance productivity, and protect customers in this evolving digital landscape.

IoT security doesn’t have to be overwhelming. But it does require a proactive and strategic mindset, and the first step is to understand IoT security trends.

Top trends

IoT offers an expanding horizon of opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored due to security concerns. With foresight into these current trends, practical planning, and persistence implementation, you can move your organization vision for IoT forward with confidence in your security practices.

For insights to help you improve your security posture, visit us at Microsoft Secure.

Categories: cybersecurity, IoT, security, Trends Tags:

Managing cloud security: Four key questions to evaluate your security position

As cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to transform the global economy, businesses recognize that securing enterprise data must be viewed as an ongoing process. Securing the ever-expanding volume, variety, and sources of data is not easy; however, with an adaptive mindset, you can achieve persistent and effective cloud security.

The first step is knowing the key risk areas in cloud computing and IoT processes and assessing whether and where your organization may be exposed to data leaks. File sharing solutions improve the way people collaborate but pose a serious point of vulnerability. Mobile workforces decentralize data storage and dissolve traditional business perimeters.

SaaS solutions turn authentication and user identification into an always-on and always-changing topic. Second, it’s worth developing the habit—if you haven’t already—of reviewing and adapting cloud security strategy as an ongoing capability. To that end, here are eight key questions to revisit regularly, four of which we dive deeper into below.


Is your security budget scaling appropriately?

Security teams routinely manage numerous security solutions on a daily basis and typically monitor thousands of security alerts. At the same time, they need to keep rapid response practices sharp and ready for deployment in case of a breach. Organizations must regularly verify that sufficient funds are allocated to cover day-to-day security operations as well as rapid, ad hoc responses if and when a breach is detected.

Do you have both visibility into and control of critical business data?

With potential revenue loss from a single breach in the tens of millions of dollars, preventing data leaks is a central pillar of cloud security strategy. Regularly review how, when, where, and by whom your business data is being accessed. Monitoring whether permissions are appropriate for a user’s role and responsibilities as well as for different types of data must be constant.

Are you monitoring shadow IT adequately?

Today, the average employee uses 17 cloud apps, and mobile users access company resources from a wide variety of locations and devices. Remote and mobile work coupled with the increasing variety of cloud-based solutions (often free) raises concerns that traditional on-premises security tools and policies may not provide the level of visibility and control you need. Check whether you can identify mobile device and cloud application users on your network, and monitor changes in usage behavior. To mitigate risks of an accidental data breach, teach current and onboarding employees your organization’s best practices for using ad hoc apps and access.

Is your remote access security policy keeping up?

Traditional remote access technologies build a direct channel between external users and your apps, and that makes it risky to publish internal apps to external users. Your organization needs a secure remote access strategy that will help you manage and protect corporate resources as cloud solutions, platforms, and infrastructures evolve. Consider using automated and adaptive policies to reduce time and resources needed to identify and validate risks.


These are just a few questions to get you thinking about recursive, adaptive cloud security. Stay on top of your security game by visiting resources on Microsoft Secure.

Categories: Cloud Computing, IoT, SaaS, security Tags:

ABB Automation & Power World 2015 – Cybersecurity in the evolving threat landscape

March 12th, 2015 No comments

In early March, I had the fortunate opportunity to speak at the ABB Automation & Power World 2015 conference in Houston, TX. This event is like a “Disneyland” for critical infrastructure providers (CIPs)!

This was my first time attending the bi-annual event and I was blown away by the innovative power and automation technologies that ABB and others had on display on the show floor—everything from electric cars to the latest in robotics.

ABB Event

Markus Braendle and Tim Rains being introduced at the ABB Automation & Power World 2015 event.

I was also impressed with the level of interest that so many CIPs had around cybersecurity and the adoption of cloud services. The general session I spoke to had a couple thousand people in attendance. During this lunchtime presentation, I spoke about the impact of cybersecurity in the ever-evolving threat landscape, and how we think the Internet will transform over the next 10 years. I showed the audience how the Microsoft Digital Crime Unit uses big data analytics to take down botnets, helping make the Internet a safer place for everyone, including CIPs. Markus Braendle, Group Head of Cyber Security at ABB, moderated audience questions and provided his own great industry insights. Questions around the threat landscape, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and risk management proved to me that cybersecurity is top of mind for this critical industry.

Key themes I heard from the audience during the session included:

  • How adopting cloud services increases the security protections for most organizations and helps them maintain compliance,
  • The security considerations for IoT,
  • How a risk-based management approach helps minimize the emotions that often accompanies security conversations,
  • Best practices for working with security researchers, and
  • Today’s attackers, their evolved motivations, and the difficulty of attribution.