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IT consultants leading edge of Internet of Everything security

Cisco Security Services Senior Vice President Bryan Palma recently said that if you want to know what the early adopters are doing to secure what Cisco calls the Internet of Everything, you should talk to the consultants they bring on.

"What we know about the Internet of Everything is that it's an emerging problem," he said, "and when you have an emerging problem, one of the first areas that gets involved is consulting. People are doing a lot of things around the Internet of Everything. … They're bringing these new devices online and they don't necessarily know what to do from a security perspective. So, we've seen just a huge uptick in the demand for people to come in and help them think through how to secure that Internet of Everything ecosystem."

In this interview, recorded at the 2015 RSA Conference, SearchSecurity editorial director Robert Richardson sat down with Palma to see what Cisco's consultants -- bolstered in December of last year by the acquisition of consulting firm Neohapsis -- had learned about the increasing interconnection of "things" and how they can be secured.

"For a long time in security," Palma said, "we've been dealing with IT systems and dealing with the back office. And while that's very important, as you move to operational technology, you move the core of many customers' business. And so you start to talk about connected cars, you start to talk about connected home automation, you start to talk about electrical grids," Palma said. If the adversaries successfully gain control, the results could be more serious than the aftermath of traditional data breaches, i.e., gaining control of a car, controlling another transport system or controlling a medical device. "The stakes are much higher, right? So, we've got to make sure that we get it right, and I think customers understand that."

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