Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Extreme Networks secures IoT for digital enterprises

Steve Rogerson
May 23, 2019
California-based Extreme Networks has introduced IoT security and automated threat mitigation for the digital enterprise. Its Extreme AI Security product delivers behavioural analysis, automated remediation and containment to defend against network-based cyber attacks.
Today's cyber threats, once inside, move laterally across networks to reach their targets, compromising everything in their path. The volume, speed and sophistication of these often-undetected attacks require a different approach to enterprise network security.
Accenture's 2018 State of Cyber Resilience Report found that 83 per cent of respondents believe they need technologies to secure their future, but just two in five had invested in AI and machine learning technologies. To meet this challenge, Extreme Networks announced its Extreme AI Security application, a class of network security that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and remediate threats against IoT devices.
The convergence of multi-cloud, mobility and the massive influx of IoT devices in the enterprise expands the attack surface, making it an imperative to deploy security technologies deep inside the network and not just at the perimeter. This explosion of endpoints and network traffic creates complexity and makes it difficult for network administrators and security teams to gain visibility into the chaos through traditional methods.
With IoT devices ranging from million-dollar smart MRI machines to five-dollar sensors, device-level security alone can't be trusted to secure endpoints. As a result, enterprise security teams are working overtime to keep up, but are often shorthanded due to a lack of trained cyber-security personnel.
Extreme AI Security delivers deep visibility and detection of malicious traffic, and real-time monitoring of IoT devices for behavioural anomalies, illuminating enterprise networks so attackers have nowhere to hide. Through fully automated remediation of suspicious devices and traffic, it ensures threats are contained without manual intervention, preventing them from moving across the network.
"Security is top of mind for all of our customers,” said Abby Strong, vice president at Extreme Networks. “They have seen the devastating impact of data breaches across industries and understand that they need to change the way they view security infrastructure. The ability to stop cyber attacks from moving across networks is an absolute necessity to prevent the types of data breaches that can dramatically harm a business. Extreme's advancements in both security and machine learning will bring added peace of mind and a much-needed extra layer of security for our customers."
Extreme's traffic analytics and visibility capabilities are embedded in this security product, combining enterprise networking with innovations in machine learning to identify and remediate threats.
Key features include:

  • Behavioural monitoring and baselining: Massively scalable behavioural anomaly detection leverages machine learning to understand typical behaviour of IoT devices and trigger alerts automatically when endpoints act in unusual or unexpected ways.
  • Unsupervised learning: A zero-touch, zero-configuration approach makes Extreme AI Security easy to implement. The machine-learning algorithm automatically responds when triggered and mitigates threats. This innovation is based on advancements in the field of natural language processing.
  • Insights and granular analytics: By leveraging its Extreme Analytics application – the company's flagship, end-to-end, analytics application — users can get deep visibility into the lateral movement of malicious traffic and any impact on crucial network services. Through the analytics platform, they can view threats by severity, category, high-risk endpoints and geography.
  • Multi-vendor interoperability and integration: Extreme AI Security works with all leading threat intelligence feeds, and close integration with Extreme Workflow Composer enables automatic threat mitigation and remediation. The automated ticketing feature integrates with various popular IT tools such as Slack, Jira and ServiceNow, and it interoperates with many popular security tools, including existing network taps. This extra layer of security is necessary in changing enterprise IT environments.
Extreme AI Security will be generally available in October 2019.
"In the past, we looked at tools that promise to provide visibility into data traffic and pinpoint anomalies,” said Fritz Buetikofer, senior IT manager at the University of Bern. “In most cases, it was very time consuming to customise the bells and whistles of these tools so that they were effective and didn't show too many false positives, leaving our IT team to chase after non-issues and potentially exposing our organisation to real security risks. In beta tests with Extreme AI Security, it was immediately clear that Extreme is delivering an outstanding integration of analytics and anomaly detection as well as device profiling through the deep integration of its software and hardware capabilities. Even in this very early stage, its easy-to-use dashboard provides us with very precise information about incidents in every marked component of our network infrastructure."
Volker Kull, CTO of Bell Computer-Netzwerke, added: "The irony of cyber security today is that many organisations continue to rely on traditional, perimeter-based defences, despite ever more sophisticated attacks. This is a deceptive security that we must counteract with intelligent technologies. Extreme Networks is at the forefront of a new era of security, offering comprehensive network visibility, traffic analysis and artificial intelligence. We are proud to partner with Extreme to help customers modernise and improve their security environment, so they can confidently address today's IT challenges."
And Rohit Mehra, vice president at IDC, said: "Traditional perimeter defences alone are no longer enough to stop today's sophisticated cyber attacks. Enterprises must base their defences off the idea that they have already been breached and focus their efforts on protecting critical applications and data, while preventing intruders from moving across the network. Extreme's new capabilities that leverage advanced machine learning will help enhance its automation toolset across its network visibility, analytics and management solutions, enabling enterprises to address their security challenges."
Founded in 1996, Extreme is headquartered in San Jose, California.