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By 4 February 2019 | Categories: feature articles

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Every year brings some key questions: what will the months ahead hold? How can we best take advantage of the trends it begins (or continues) and manage the challenges it presents?

A recent round table discussion with Aruba’s business unit manager, Pieter Engelbrecht answered all of the above. While the trends that he discussed are particularly pertinent to enterprises, several of them had significance to small and medium sized businesses, and even individuals as well.

So what can we expect? Topping the list is that this year, cybersecurity and insider threat will remain a top priority. And for  good reason. Engelbrecht elaborated that while much of cybercrime is still financially motivated, breaches are also happening for political gain, with some aiming to influence voting for a particular candidate. Thus a successful hack can have far reaching consequences for a country, nation and even the world.

Send in the machines

That’s not all. The implementation of IoT is also making cybersecurity more urgent, presenting scenarios in which people’s smart homes, for example, can be compromised through a connected device on their network. In a similar vein, the security of a connected mine could also be reduced, putting lives in jeopardy. And for companies the IoT risks are already happening, with the now notorious attack on a casino’s network through the IoT connected thermostat in its fishtank.

And then there are Thingbots, which are basically machine driven attacks, that also need to be taken cognisance of. “The challenge as IoT comes to the fore, is that we need to differentiate humans from machines in ways like never before. In the financial industry, for example, it is critical for an organisation to be able to know whether a machine is logging on versus a person with a legitimate reason for doing so,” he elaborated.  

Who are you?

To this end, Aruba plays in the security analytics space, offering its IntroSpect solution. This, Engelbrecht explained, sits on top of any security solution a customer has, and analyses their users. It then creates a profile of users, and if the behaviour of particular user changes suddenly, the solution moves their profile to orange or red.

This means that if a user’s profile normally sees them logging in at 7 am and suddenly they start logging in at 2 am in the morning, then Introspect can flag the suspicious behaviour and take the appropriate actions.

In a nutshell

From a network perspective, this year organisations certainly still need to ensure that their networking solutions are secure. “More than that, the processes, the ability to know who's on the network, know what's on the network, know what they're doing and then doing continuous monitoring to ensure that bad things are not happening is going to be an equally important priority,” he stressed.

As to concrete steps that organisations can take to deal with the cybersecurity threat continuing to dominate this year, according to Aruba, they should be implementing new tools that go beyond traditional cybersecurity measures, included user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA) solutions.

Engelbrecht noted that “by detecting anomalous behaviour and enabling quick remedies, UEBA solutions can provide real-time protection that traditional systems miss.”

In Part 2, a few of the other predominant trends for the year ahead are explored in greater depth.

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