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Carousel Industries and Ordr: Uncovering the IoT Surprises Hiding Within Your Network

First, some straight-up pragmatism: IoT devices probably won’t get much more secure as time goes on. There’s just not enough impetus for manufacturers to add security capabilities. Couple that lack of onboard security with the fact that IoT usage is rapidly increasing, and the onus falls on IT to address the shortcomings of this evolving Internet of (Insecure) Things so new connections don’t introduce vulnerabilities.

Tools already exist to monitor and manage IoT devices but few follow Leonardo da Vinci’s time-tested premise, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Instead, most require too much administration time and in-the-weeds configuration to make them truly effective. That leaves organizations with haphazard deployments, misconfigurations, diminished value from their tech investments, and countless IoT devices prowling the network without proper oversight.

By contrast, Ordr helps enterprises solve IoT risks with a solution that’s refreshingly sophisticated in its simplicity. Powerful and quick to deploy, Ordr hunts down IoT devices on the network, categorizes them and shows you what they are, who they're talking to, and what they're doing. To test its usability – its power to deliver insight into IoT activities as well as the ability to launch it quickly and use it effectively – I tried Ordr myself through their IoT Discovery Program.

Simple? Check. Deploying the Ordr sensor on my home network couldn’t have been simpler. I removed it from the box, plugged it into my network, and set up a SPAN session to send all my traffic to it. Then I grabbed some food from the kitchen. Back at my desk, sandwich in hand, I saw the sensor was already hitting security solution pay dirt.
 
Powerful? Definitely. Along with discovering traditional Windows devices, Ordr showed me the Raspberry Pi that I forgot was on the network and my Garmin watch, which I didn’t realize had wireless enabled. Then things got really interesting as Ordr presented information about what was happening on my network, automatically categorizing my devices and displaying flows. It revealed that my son’s machine was talking to places overseas it shouldn’t have been – and with command and control (C2) traffic, no less! I immediately remediated that issue, something I would never have known about if I hadn’t plugged Ordr into my network.

Quick? Ordr’s value became apparent right away. I didn’t fiddle around with configurations. I didn’t even have to impact my network traffic. Watching the sensor do its work was simplicity in motion and the insight I gained after just a few minutes was eye opening. Things had been happening on my network for how long without me knowing about it? 

What IT organization wouldn’t want that level of visibility into their own IoT frontier? 

Having real-time insight into your network is particularly important because other departments might deploy IoT devices without IT’s knowledge, often referred to as “shadow IoT.” The concept of shadow IoT isn’t about rogue employees with malicious intent. Instead, IoT – along with Operational Technology (OT) and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)  devices such as patient heart monitors, indoor air quality sensors, and automated equipment controllers – enable desirable outcomes for so many functional areas that they're bound to wind up in your enterprise because employees think they're doing something good. Unfortunately, the need for security never crosses their radar.

A real-world example illustrates how quickly unmanaged IoT access can turn messy. A highly secure organization working with the Department of Defense (DoD) hired a third party to conduct penetration testing. The pen test vendor was granted physical access to the building and noticed digital signage in the hallway outside the conference room reserved for their work. They got the IP address of that IoT device, discovered it was running an old, unpatched version of Linux, and obtained Microsoft Active Directory credentials into the environment. The digital signage was innocuous, intended to benefit the organization’s users, but it hadn’t been secured against intrusion.

And so, we come back to da Vinci and his penchant for simplicity. Ordr’s effectiveness is built on simplicity. You don’t have to manually sift through and categorize hundreds or thousands of IoT devices, some of which you probably didn’t expect to find. The platform does the work for you, using easily-deployed out-of-band sensors and Ordr’s powerful AI-driven database of devices, well beyond traditional Network Access Control (NAC) device discovery. Its speed stems from the ability to monitor the network in real-time, automatically assigning categories when it spots something new. Ordr solves a big Day Two challenge for enterprises struggling to keep pace with an IoT device list that’s constantly growing. In businesses where shadow IoT is hard at work, this task is even more overwhelming – and more critical.

The time to take control of your IoT environment is now. To help you get started, Carousel and Ordr are offering a free 30-day trial with the IoT Discovery Program. You'll receive access to the Ordr dashboard and a zero-touch sensor that’s quick and simple to deploy. Ordr’s powerful solution and Carousel’s deep expertise will be behind at every step to simplify the complexities of IoT device security, and at the end of your trial you'll receive a complete IoT Discovery Report.

What will you see when you add Ordr to your network?

About the Author

Jason Viera is Chief Technology Officer for Carousel Industries. As CTO, he is responsible for spearheading and shaping the vision of Carousel’s technology strategy to help innovate and cultivate new opportunities for its more than 6,000 clients. As CTO, Jason is laser-focused on continuously strengthening Carousel’s range of services and solutions and ensuring client satisfaction through the company’s engineering talent and masterfully designed solutions. Jason is the driving force behind the launch of Carousel’s Office of the CTO whose mission is to align the company’s engineering talent with customers to advance their business outcomes. Through client engagement activities, The Office is responsible for driving unbiased strategic innovation for both Carousel and its customers. Additionally, The Office vets and adds new technology solutions to its portfolio to provide further value to customers as they continue their digital transformation journey. Before serving as CTO, Jason was previously Senior Director of Infrastructure Solutions for Carousel. In this role, he worked with customers across multiple verticals to address their challenges with end-to-end architectures to meet their business and technical requirements. Prior to Carousel, he served in several engineering and leadership positions for Cisco Systems, Amgen, and Proctor & Gamble. Jason is a Tech10 Award winner, a member of the Forbes Tech Council, and is a frequent contributor to Network World, CRN, Channel Futures, and several other leading IT and business publications. Jason has over two decades of industry experience and more than a dozen industry certifications.

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