Governance & Risk Management , Risk Assessments

Diversity of Devices, Not the Number of Them, Presents Infosec Challenges

50 Billion Devices Soon to Be Connected to Internet
Cisco's Don Proctor longs for days of Microsoft patches.Compared with today, life was simple for network and systems administrators a few short years ago before everyone went mobile. Today, an estimated 10 billion devices are connected to the Internet, a figure expected to quintuple in the next few years, says Don Proctor, senior vice president at Cisco Systems and executive sponsor of Cisco's Cybersecurity Task Force.

But it's not the fact that in a few years IT security managers worldwide will have to worry about 50 billion Internet-connected devices, but the diversity of devices. "In retrospect, life was easy when all we had to do was download the Windows patch," Proctor says in an interview with Information Security Media Group's Eric Chabrow.

It's not just Androids, BlackBerries and iPhones, but other Internet-connected devices such as door locks, security cameras, sensors and even vehicles. "It's become clear that a strategy for cybersecurity based on patching the endpoint is no longer viable," Proctor says. "There simply isn't enough human capital on the planet to keep up with security updates on all of those operating systems so that leads us to this notion of architectural approach, where we begin to integrate cybersecurity into the fabric of the network itself."

In the interview, Proctor discuss the evolution of security threats and how the IT security community will address them.

A graduate of the University of California, Proctor teaches in the management of technology program at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and formerly taught in the telecommunications engineering certification program at the UC Berkeley Extension.

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