Structured Blog

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Don’t Just Patch – Prevent! Establish trust through device identity, not address

By Gizzelle Akin, Structured UC Solutions Advisor

Staying up-to-date on the latest technologies and their implications for business is taken very seriously at Structured.

We hold weekly product training for the sales team on the various solutions in our large portfolio. These are always helpful, but occasionally I learn about an offering so innovative and so useful that I’m instantly inspired to evangelize its benefits.

That has recently been the case for me with Tempered Networks.

We’ve all heard the stories of breaches like the one at Target that compromised 41 million customer accounts through its HVAC system, or WannaCry that infected approximately 200,000 Windows OS devices (including medical devices like MRI machines).  Devices that have historically remained under the radar as attack vectors are now responsible for some of the largest breaches to date.

But what if there was a simple and economical way to prevent exploits like these from happening in the first place?

Tempered can do just that with what it calls “Identity Based Micro-Segmentation.”

Essentially, Tempered takes devices on your network and cloaks them from being visible to anything else on the network or anyone that hacks into your network.  Whether it’s your HVAC system, POS terminals, traffic lights, medical devices, robots on your manufacturing floor, servers with sensitive data — or really any networked device — it makes them invisible and inaccessible to anything else on the network.

It does this using Host Identity Protocol (HIP) instead of traditional TCP/IP to communicate.  By utilizing HIP, the devices can only speak to other approved HIP-based devices. Where this allows for direct device-to-device connection, it eliminates the need to identify trust by address and instead allows trust by device identity.

The exciting thing about this is that if you take a Tempered box and put it in front of something like a credit card processing machine, it can take other network components completely out of scope for PCI requirements because they are no longer capable of making connections to the card data environment. With enforcement of PCI 3.2 and GDPR on the horizon, Tempered provides a simple way to achieve compliance and ensure data safety.

Organizations participating in Tempered demonstrations usually experience a collective moment about 15-20 minutes into the presentation. I often see people’s eyes light up as use-cases pop into their heads.  They learn about how easy it is to deploy and manage, they learn about the ways it can increase their security posture and make them more compliant, and they learn how economical it is.

Watching this “ah-ha moment” happen — and thinking about Star Trek every time I say the word “cloak” — inspires me to continue evangelizing and spread the good word all over again.

So, if you have 15-20 minutes to spare and care at all about network security, I invite you to a Tempered Networks demo. Trust me, you won’t regret it.