Many network-based cybersecurity tools rely on traffic monitoring in order to provide clients with adequate protection. While yes, this is a popular approach, it isn’t necessarily the best one as it often triggers privacy concerns and compliance issues. More importantly, traffic monitoring tools, bring a very basic solution to the complex domain that is cybersecurity, failing to protect against what you don’t know due to limited visibility. Never fear: complete asset visibility is achievable. With Layer 1 visibility, every network-connected device – IT/OT/IoT, unmanaged or managed – gets detected and its true identity revealed, ensuring comprehensive network protection.
Stopping the Traffic Cops
There are a few limitations to traffic monitoring, such as the efficacy of identifying network-connected devices; and the exposure of sensitive data companies want to keep private from external sources. As previously mentioned, the first issue relates to the effectiveness of traffic-based solutions at protecting the enterprise’s environment. Obviously, they provide adequate protection to some extent, otherwise they wouldn’t get used. However, they suffer from some critical flaws that lead to vulnerabilities which can easily get taken advantage of. The main one is visibility. Traffic-based solutions show you what you already know; the security team must whitelist devices and keep and maintain a database of pre-approved MAC addresses. Moreover, traffic monitoring relies on a device’s activity. However, not all devices emit traffic; passive, MAC-less and out-of-band devices go undetected by traffic monitoring tools, allowing such assets to go unmanaged. Even worse, traffic-based solutions fail to identify spoofed MAC addresses, running the risk of illegitimate, unwanted, and rogue devices gaining access to the network. With that in mind, traffic monitoring on its own just doesn’t cut it; how can you expect to have a secure network when a slew of devices can easily bypass your current security standards?
The secondary issue associated with traffic monitoring is privacy. When network traffic is being monitored, there is a fundamental lack of privacy. Whether monitored actively or passively, incoming and outgoing traffic gets watched in a 1984-esque manner. Such activity can elicit compliance violations in instances where regulations have strict privacy controls. Cybersecurity tools should ease the task of regulatory compliance, not add to it – there are already enough IT nightmares to deal with.
The Traffic-less Solution
This is where the traffic-less solution comes into play. Sepio’s solution generates a digital fingerprint of all devices through multiple Layer 1 parameters and a unique machine learning algorithm to provide complete asset visibility, detecting every connected device and identifying it for what it truly is. Rather than focusing on device activity like traffic monitoring solutions do, Sepio focuses on device existence, guaranteeing a complete and accurate asset inventory. Such visibility enhances current cybersecurity efforts by providing a holistic overview of the entire asset infrastructure, subsequently preventing unwanted devices from gaining network access. Lastly, the controversial issue of privacy is not of concern as Sepio does not tap into traffic, instead relying on Layer 1 data for device identification. In short, no compliance issues arise upon deployment our solution. Speaking of deployment, low resource requirements mean that within 24 hours, you can have complete visibility of all your hardware assets. The solution integrates seamlessly with existing security tools and causes no disruptions to the networking infrastructure, meaning no IT nightmares.
No one likes rush-hour…skip the traffic with Sepio and schedule a demo with one of our specialists.