Malware attacks on IoT devices rose by 700 per cent at the height of the pandemic
The Security Excellence Awards honour the companies and individuals keeping the rest of the industry - and in fact, every industry - safe. With technology advancements driving increased adoption - a move only acclerated by the pandemic - cybersecurity is far from just 'nice to have' now, it's essential to doing business.
Although the event itself was online again this year, finalists flocked to the dedicated website earlier this month to find out if they'd been successful. Two of them were Armis and Eseye, whose combined work with the internet of things saw them take home the IoT and Edge Computing Security Award. We caught up with Nadir Izrael, CTO and co-founder of Armis, and Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye, to ask them more about their companies' work together.
Computing: Why is cybersecurity important to the modern world?
Nadir Izrael: There has been an explosion of connected devices in the enterprise, with reports of IoT devices reaching 46 billion in 2021. These devices were not designed with security in mind, making them vulnerable targets for exploitation. During the pandemic, IoT malware attacks surged by 700 per cent; and it's no surprise, as 90 per cent of IoT devices are unmanaged and lack built-in security. Businesses are facing a number of security risks when it comes to IoT devices, including:
- No built-in security, with most devices unable to accept a traditional security agent for protection or monitoring.
- Difficult to upgrade given their embedded operating systems (Linux, Windows CE, Android, VxWorks) that accumulate many common software vulnerabilities over time.
- Many devices are designed to automatically connect to the internet or other networks
- For cellular devices, which have historically been connected to a mobile network operator via a proprietary SIM, the lack of interoperability and device visibility makes it almost impossible to protect those devices by setting security policy centrally and deploying to the edge of the network
- The emergence of private 5G/LTE networks means IoT devices will increasingly be connecting to different types of private and public networks over their lifetime, so having a flexible solution that ensures accurate visibility and security of those devices is paramount.
CTG: How did you feel when you heard that your entry had won?
NI: Industry validation is always welcomed! But even more importantly, we're glad to see more awareness of this growing issue across the world's largest organisations. Our combined IoT security and connectivity solution empowers organisations to deploy connected devices anywhere in the world, across both corporate and a choice of over 700 cellular networks. Furthermore, they don't have the constant worry about security, providing total visibility of all IoT and edge computing devices and enabling organisations to understand the risks associated with each device.
CTG: What do you think made your entry stand out?
Nick Earle: Together, Eseye and Armis technologies create an industry-first synergy, delivering a secure and connected ecosystem for all IoT devices across multiple industries. This pioneering and innovative partnership sets the foundation to enable digital transformation and automation as the supply chain continues to expand.
CTG: What does the win mean for Armis and Eseye? How will it help you?
NE: We are honoured to win the IoT and Edge Computing Security Award at this year's Security Excellence Awards. We hope that by bringing together this joint solution, we're able to ensure organisations can deploy and secure virtually any type of IoT device globally, to any network, with confidence.
CTG: What does the future hold for Armis and Eseye - what are the priorities for the next 12 months?
NI: Armis and Eseye will continue to address unique concerns within the growing portfolio of IoT and edge computing devices. Today's dynamic, digital economy demands mobile and remote device connectivity, and so it is essential for organisations to ensure operational resilience and business continuity. Next-generation private 5G and public cellular networks are required to deliver ubiquitous and reliable connectivity, especially when devices are operationally critical and distributed across remote locations. Armis and Eseye plan to stay ahead of emerging threats that can result in financial devastation, destruction of reputation and damage to brand, and widespread collateral loss to the bottom line.