“I say, I say…” Foghorn Leghorn the epic WB character. One of my favorites from my childhood in fact. Back when cartoons were only on two to three hours on a Saturday morning and if you missed, you didn’t see them. In the replay world things are different. As someone who entered the IT profession with the intent of finding better ways to connect I can say we’ve done a good job.
Connectivity is the basis of the social world we live in. Connections begin at the personal level (other people). They move to the personal devices (other people via social sites and other devices via connectivity). Finally they move to the enterprise where the enterprise may be company, government agency or service delivered to users. We connect to everything. Our phones have become connection systems.
When you are a six foot plus rooster you don’t have the usual problems chickens have. Plus Foghorn Leghorn was created in the time before Chic-filet and the “eat more chicken” cows. So his natural enemies were a bit put off because he wasn’t the normal chicken size. With the explosion of cellular devices and the reality of the BYOD revolution things have changed. You can mandate employees carry only their work phone. You can lock phones in lockers or have them left in cars (thus increasing the security requirements for your parking lot). But in the end you will miss something. One device will enter your facility and compromise your security.
So you let people bring their devices into the company network. Thousands of Trojan Horses just waiting for the right moment to open their trap door and release Greek Soldiers into your companies heart. What can we do?
The first thing is to begin pushing for home private and personal cloud security standards. How many Wi-Fi networks do you have at home? Given that you will potentially have as many as 40 connected CPS devices in as little as 1-2 years, do you have multiple home Wi-Fi networks? One for CPS devices and one for everything else? I would recommend that in the short run just to separate the traffic. Use a lower end router that has less bandwidth and put your CPS device on that. Its simple, easy but it provides a level of security. If someone compromises a derive or two, you simply shut off the router and find the compromised device.
I suspect home end points are the next thing. The problem with that is simply who is going to put the home end point into your network? If you company does it, they then have access to all your home traffic. In my book “The Syncverse” I talked about creating a space called the MyVerse. I think there needs to be a not-for-profit organization created. That organization will own the personal and home private cloud endpoints. They will update and manage those end points. If someone compromises that organization it will have to be met with the wrath of all countries. An organization like the UN sponsoring the concept of home and personal end points. It won’t happen, I realize that. But that is the ultimate end game. Companies will be able to mandate controlled end points for some employees pending job and level in the company. Internet providers should also have a stake in this concept. A compromised home or cell phone can quickly make 1/2 a network compromised.
It leaves us with two haunting questions.
Shakespeare said “power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Heinlein said “who guard the guardians.”
Its coming. The question is in what form and who gets trampled to get there?
CPS Security Fear monger