Originally posted on NEDAS

At the NEDAS Spring Virtual Symposium, five industry experts convened to discuss the challenges convergence faces from bad actors on the Internet and how cybersecurity is critical at the network edge. Panelists included Richard Hayton, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of Trustonic; John Contestabile, Director of Public Safety Solutions at Skyline Technology Solutions; Fred Gordy, Director of Cyber Security & Managing Consultant at Intelligent Buildings, LLC; Joel Rakow CISO and Partner at Fortium Partners; and Ray Hild, Principal and Founder of Triangle Advisory.

Cybercrime is predicted to reach $6 trillion in damages annually in 2021. According to research by the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds (or 2200 times per day), with more than 50% of attacks proving successful. Of the successful attacks, more than 50% of those gained entry through building systems. The number one point of entry has been determined to be Voice over IP (VoIP) and phone systems, followed by the DVR component of video surveillance systems, and business systems like scanners and copiers. What becomes important in cybersecurity is securing Internet of Things (IoT) devices to prevent attacks from occurring within the Ethernet band.

To maintain security, isolating devices becomes important and can be done at the software level, cryptographically, or with the physical wire. If devices are isolated, they cannot have full privileges as soon as they join a shared network. If devices and networks cannot be isolated, the main focus should be on monitoring connection points between networks and systems through the right firewalls, protocols, and controls in place. Things can be thought of as having three layers: the data, integration, and presentation layers. In the data layer, systems having varying levels of security protocols, the presentation layer is the interface with the user, and the integration layer manages the flow of information between the two. The integration layer is where infrastructure and protocols can be built to isolate and manage the exchange of data.

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