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Extreme Networks Securing Edge Devices with Defender for IoT

By Ken Briodagh
February 11, 2019

Use of IoT devices is proliferating in every industry, and with this growth comes risk – reports of IoT attacks increased 600 percent from 2016 to 2017. To protect enterprise networks, Extreme Networks recently announced the general availability of its Defender for IoT, a security solution designed to help organizations secure unsecured IoT devices. Defender for IoT reportedly can be deployed on any network and is easy to use so non-technical staff at schools, hospitals, retailers and hospitality venues can use it to isolate and protect both wired and wireless IoT devices from cyberattacks.

IoT devices present two major security flaws for businesses today. Most lack embedded security—they were built to run on private networks where the assumption was it was tightly controlled, and device-level security wasn’t required. Manufacturers never considered that the private enterprise network could be connected to the public internet, and therefore the devices may run out-of-date operating systems, have hardcoded passwords and/or lack anti-virus and firewall capabilities. Second, they are typically deployed in a flat or unsegmented network so that if breached, the attacker can gain access to sensitive areas of the network.

Defender for IoT, part of the company’s Smart OmniEdge solution, seeks to solve these challenges by delivering the following:

  • IoT security without the complexity: Defender for IoT is simple to deploy and easy to maintain. Users simply plug the Defender Adapter into an Ethernet port, and run the associated application. The Defender application learns the typical traffic patterns of network devices, and dynamically generates a security policy that locks down what a device communicates with and how it can communicate, automating edge network security for the enterprise. Once initial device profiles have been dynamically generated, non-technical staff can easily place the adapter between the device and the network and apply the appropriate security profile using a simple drop-down menu.
  • Segmentation and isolation of IoT devices: With layer 2-7 visibility, Defender for IoT allows users to easily segment groups of IoT devices into multiple, isolated secure zones, reducing the network attack surface.  Users can also centrally monitor and track device usage, location and roaming. This helps customers mitigate the risk of an attacker gaining access to more sensitive areas of the network.
  • Deployable on any network infrastructure: Defender for IoT works with any vendor’s IP network, providing in-line protection of IoT devices and segmentation through IPSec tunnels– without network changes. Additionally, Defender for IoT integrates with Extreme Fabric Connect, giving customers the ability to leverage network automation capabilities and dynamic auto-attach functionality to streamline edge security efforts.

The optional ExtremeMobility AP3912 Wall Jack offers the same integrated defense as the Defender Adapter for both wired and wireless devices, but with the ability to support multiple devices in a single room. Defender for IoT is well suited for deployment in schools and universities, hospitals, hospitality venues, manufacturing, transportation, retail, and other industries that rely on connected devices to improve business efficiencies and customer experience.

“At Ascension, we pride ourselves on our modern approach to healthcare, and are always looking for ways to improve patient outcomes and experience. But the latest greatest, connected medical technology is a risk to us if we can’t ensure its security,” said Mike Oligschlaeger, Vice President Business Management, Ascension. “Working closely with Extreme, we developed Defender for IoT to protect our patients and staff from the devastating consequences of an IoT breach, which in some cases can even be life threatening. This gives our entire organization peace of mind when it comes to our connected healthcare initiatives.”


The IoT Evolution Expo, and collocated events, IoT Evolution Health, LPWAN Expo, The Smart City Event, and IIoT Conference, will take place Jan. 29 to Feb 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit IoTEvolutionExpo.com to register now.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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