Physical Layer Visibility in the Age of Technological Darwinism

Physical Layer Visibility

The evolution of technology within the 21st century has been taking place at light speed; humanity manifests new discoveries and ideas every day. This creates a phenomenon that impacts workplaces across the globe at an unprecedented rate. Companies must continuously adapt to this so-called Technological Darwinism in order to sustain relevance and competitiveness. Doing so means a never-ending deluge of new devices in the workplace, including connected IoTs, all of which need to get managed from the moment they are introduced; and this starts with Physical Layer visibility (Layer 1 in the OSI model).

What Exactly is Visibility and Why is it Important?

Visibility is exactly what it sounds like, the ability to physically see something and thus be able to identify the said subject. Such as it works in our day-to-day lives, it is also applicable to the sphere of cybersecurity; however, the approach and process to identifying new assets within a workplace are a little more convoluted than just looking at something. 

The constant barrage of devices getting incorporated into the business makes it challenging to keep track of all the assets connected to the network. While many cybersecurity solutions get implemented to manage assets and their associated risks, such tools fail to go as deep as the Physical Layer. Yes, it’s essential to have various security tools in place, but their lack of Physical Layer visibility means there is no protection in the hardware domain. As a result, this leads to vulnerabilities and general oversights on the hardware level that let unmanaged switches, passive taps and out-of-band devices fly under the radar – even spoofed devices can trick your network into allowing them access. Achieving complete visibility means going down to the Physical Layer

Proper Visibility Leads to Effective Asset Management

Any device within your estate of IT/OT/IoT is subject to vulnerabilities and thus need to get managed. Asset management is the ability to identify your devices on a real-time basis, create an inventory of these devices and understand their risk posture. Managing traditional IT assets is daunting a task itself, but the influx of interconnected IoTs has only added more complexities. As of 2021, there are an estimated 35.82 billion IoT devices, and by 2025 the number is expected to jump to 75.44 billion. Effective asset management subsequently enables access management, policy enforcement, vulnerability management and incident response, all of which are part of the due process that will help your company stay in the race of Technological Darwinism.

However, effective asset management in the modern workspace requires complete asset visibility – anything less than 100% visibility is inadequate. The current Physical Layer visibility blind spot seriously limits effective asset management as hardware vulnerabilities are unaccounted for. In turn, security policies and access controls are incapable of protecting the environment, putting the enterprise at serious risk of a breach or harmful cyberattack.

Physical Layer Visibility

After reading this, you might be asking yourself how you can attain effective asset management if existing solutions do not offer the necessary visibility. Well, you’re in luck. Sepio offers the missing piece to the puzzle you’re trying to solve. 

Sepio’s solution provides Physical Layer visibility to enable 100% visibility and management of all IT/OT/IoT assets. Sepio’s solution uses Physical Layer information and a unique machine learning algorithm to generate a digital fingerprint and risk score for all devices. The solution uses such information to deliver Asset Risk Management in which security policies get enforced based on a device’s role or characteristics and associated risk score. This Zero Trust Hardware Access approach integrates with other platforms to enhance policy enforcement and access control. With that, Sepio offers Rogue Device Mitigation, instantly detecting and blocking any device that breaches the pre-defined policies or gets detected as malicious by the internal threat intelligence database, stopping possible attacks dead in their tracks.

July 12th, 2022