2.8M UK Businesses Vulnerable To IoT And OT Cyber-Attacks

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Feb 21, 2019 08:09 am PST
  • Half of all UK businesses (49%) believe they have unknown third-party devices on their networks, an increase of 110,000 since last year 
  • 85% of IT managers say this poses a security risk to their organisations   

Half (49%) of the UK’s 5.7m businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber-attacks by having unknown devices on their network, new research from Forescout has revealed today. This marks a significant increase of 2%, or 110,000, of businesses since April 2018.   

The survey conducted by Censuswide found that 85% of CIOs and IT decision makers understand that a lack of visibility and control of the devices on their network poses a real risk to their security infrastructure. Despite this high level of awareness, 1.6% of UK businesses admit to still not using any cyber security solutions at all to protect themselves.   

One challenge for UK businesses is the increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) devices connecting to their networks. Sixty-nine percent of organisations say they now have over 1,000 such devices, with one in five (19%) organisations even stating that they have more than 10,000 connected devices on their network. 

OT and IT convergence as a security challenge   

Additionally, the convergence of IT and OT can create security blind spots that leave organisations vulnerable. The majority (58%) of IT decision makers believe that having a centralised approach to IT and OT security will protect businesses against these vulnerabilities, yet only 49% have implemented such an approach within their own organisation.   

The research coincides with the latest update to Forescout’s flagship solution, which offers customers the industry’s first fully-integrated device visibility and control platform for unified IT and OT security. The latest product features include:   

  • Expanded device visibility and discovery: Visibility into multi-cloud infrastructures now includes Microsoft Azure, adding to its existing offerings with AWS and VMware. New integration with Cisco ACI provides visibility into SDN for data center environments. Integration with Belden industrial switches as well as SecurityMatters, along with passive monitoring into the lower layers of OT network stacks, provides deeper visibility into control systems and instrumentation devices. This adds to Forescout’s existing OT capabilities and will give organizations the only true end-to-end coverage for OT networks.   
  • Auto-classification for medical and industrial devices: Extensive enhancements in auto-classification capabilities now allow organizations to identify over 500 different operating systems and over 5,000 different device vendors and models. New deep-packet inspection of over 100 IT and OT protocols powers accurate classification of healthcare devices from over 375 leading medical technology vendors, and thousands of industrial control and automation devices. Forescout’s industry-leading device cloud has now grown to more than eight million devices, enabling superior classification efficacy, velocity and coverage across IT, IoT and OT devices.     
  • Network segmentation controls: The Forescout platform now includes orchestration of segmentation controls with Fortinet next-generation firewalls and Cisco DNA-Center. This adds to existing segmentation capabilities with Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, AWS, VMware and leading enterprise and industrial networking equipment. As organizations embrace IT and OT segmentation, this enables them to automate controls across heterogeneous firewalls as well as physical, virtual, cloud and SDN environments.   
  • Improved risk assessment and incident response: New risk assessment capabilities include vulnerability assessment for OT devices and industrial control systems (ICS). Additionally, device impersonation detection identifies rogue devices using spoofing techniques, helps organizations prevent malicious access and improves audit compliance. New orchestration capabilities with Microsoft Intune improve mobile device assessment and configuration compliance. For organizations looking to improve security and IT operations efficiency, the Forescout platform now orchestrates with ServiceNow ITSM and Security Operations products to automate incident response. 

“Our latest research shows that, despite various new regulatory benchmarks and many notable attacks on industry giants in the past twelve months, UK businesses are still painfully unaware of the huge threat vector that connected devices present,” commented Myles Bray, vice president of EMEA, Forescout. “To properly protect themselves, it is imperative that organisations in the UK are able to not only identify, but also fully manage and control every single third-party device that accesses their network. One way in which they can achieve more comprehensive insights is by implementing a centralised management platform that can provide real-time device visibility and control for enterprises across all industries.”