IoT and the Enterprise: CAM Q&A with Sean Tufts

October 2, 2020

October is global Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” 


Each week Andrea Hart of our Solutions Education team will host a brief Q&A with Sean Tufts, Optiv’s Practice Director of Product Security for ICS & IOT, addressing the week’s specific topic. 


For week one, Andrea notes that we typically think of the Internet of Things in terms of consumer devices. Sean, what should the average employee have to think in the office? 


Take it away, guys


Andrea: Hi everyone. I'm Andrea Hart from our solutions education team. October is cybersecurity awareness month. And this month's theme is connected devices. I'm joined today by one of Optiv’s IOT experts, Sean Tufts, who is our practice director for product security for ICS and IOT. How are you doing Sean?


Sean: Great. How are you doing?


Andrea: Very well. So Sean, over the next few weeks, we're going to be answering questions about connected devices, to really bring awareness during cybersecurity awareness month. So normally I think of IOT as Alexas, and the doorbell cams, but obviously there's a lot more than that in the enterprise. What do you think the average employee should be thinking about in terms of their security for their organization?


Sean: Yeah. I saw a t-shirt the other day that said, “IOT: the ‘S’ stands for security”, and I think that's a good take on how bring up the example of Alexa, right? When we've done ourselves, a disservice by identifying IOT as things like Alexa, smart fridges, Peloton, Echo Dots, kind of red herrings, right? Yeah, there are things on the network, you know, we have to be careful of them. Yeah, we have to know what, what code base is running inside of there, but it's also really easy to knock those offline. Um, IOT is a problem (becomes an issue) when you start really embedding those devices closer and closer to the moneymaking avenues. So think of IOT devices on trading floors, think about, um, temperature measurements on a poultry line. Those kinds of things are really, really important. And we're getting away from standard Linux and Windows boxes on those specific devices, which is where firms make their money and getting less and less visibility to those pieces and parts is-it's really troubling for security programs.


Andrea: That's really interesting. I hadn't thought of it either. So, I'm okay.


Sean: Temperature chicken. Keep an eye on that one. That's an important one.


Andrea: Good to know. Well thank you all for joining us this week. We will be back next week. Well Sean we'll dive in a little bit more about what you should be thinking of and your work and home set up to make sure that you're keeping your personal as well as your professional life secure. We do have links to our cyber security awareness month hub. That will have lots of actionable resources for you. Thanks, Sean. And I'll see you next week.


Sean: Yeah, thanks.