We are witnessing an inflection point in both information and operational technology that centers around the network. Among other things, technology innovations such as real-time data capture and sharing allow us to optimize supply chains, conserve resources, automate mundane activities and achieve unprecedented efficiency of production. One tangible example of this innovation includes using ultrasonic sensors, big data analytics and cloud computing to predict the likelihood of failure in complicated machine tools just by listening to them!
The network is the shared infrastructure for emerging solutions—as well as our existing and legacy applications. However, the challenge we face today is leveraging that connectivity without putting security and operational integrity at risk. When we think about various use cases, the diversity of devices and the shared backbone with other systems, continuous situational awareness of the devices on the network becomes paramount. You must have the ability to discover them at the moment they connect, accurately classify them and assess their cybersecurity posture. It’s essential to do all of this automatically and in a way that won’t disrupt the network and the devices connected to it.
At ForeScout Technologies, we’ve been doing this for years, using innovative agentless visibility and control methods to secure heterogenous, large-scale networks. We have built upon our foundation with an out-of-the-box device taxonomy—a complete hierarchal breakdown of the devices on enterprise networks, showing not only attributes such as the operating system and device manufacturer, but also the functional and operational buckets each device falls into. We’ve created an extensible model that is powered by a cloud backend, and our research team continues to expand and evolve that engine using novel analysis techniques.
This taxonomy provides essential context to enhance a wide variety of use cases, such as building the foundation for asset management. Using “single-source-of-truth” asset repositories will help ensure technology teams have access to timely and accurate device information. Plus, it is an initial step in both security frameworks and regulatory requirements.
Since the taxonomy is based on our extensible architecture and supports heterogeneous network technologies, it offers attractive opportunities for collaboration, customization and innovation by customers and partners alike.
To learn more about the environments that can use this new device taxonomy for cybersecurity and asset management, visit ForeScout’s OT solutions page.