TheGizmoStar spoke to Mr Dave Patnaik, Regional VP, APJ, Forescout.

TheGizmoStar: Can you tell us about Forescout Continuum Platform?

Mr Dave Patnaik: Forescout’s Continuum Platform is a powerhouse of cybersecurity automation. In addition to automating cybersecurity actions, Forescout is the only solution that delivers visibility and automation across all types of assets – IT, IoT, IoMT, OT and Cloud – which collectively represent the digital terrain of an organization.

Forescout Continuum delivers full asset visibility across an organization’s digital terrain. This comprehensive visibility and asset inventory provides the foundation for automated cybersecurity actions that deliver asset compliance, network access control, and dynamic network segmentation. This complete package provides customers a strong foundation for Zero Trust networking and enables security teams to focus on what really matters rather than chasing false alerts.

TheGizmoStar: What differentiates the Forescout Continuum platform?

Mr Dave Patnaik: Forescout actively integrates with the network fabric out-of-the-box and passively monitors asset communications to discover which assets are on the network and where they are. Forescout is completely vendor agnostic. This network integration and ability to support heterogenous environment is one of our key differentiators.

Once Forescout has identified all connected assets, it assesses what they are through a collection of active and passive methods. The initial assessment is further enriched by Forescout’s Cloud. Billions of datapoints are used to accurately assess device types, associated risks, and potential threats. This step is critical as we can’t apply common protection for all asset types.

Simultaneously, Forescout integrates out-of-the-box with the existing cyber ecosystem enabling security automation. This makes sure assets are configured properly while also sharing data and insights across the cyber ecosystem.

TheGizmoStar: Can you talk about the new cyber risks?
Mr Dave Patnaik: With the growing number and type of devices spread across campus, data center, cloud and OT/IoMT networks, it has become increasingly difficult to identify all the devices. You need to know what they are, how they’re connected (wired/wireless), where they’re physically located (building, closet, switch, port) and what their purpose is.

Ransomware attack statistics keep going up too and there is no reason to believe this trend will reverse any time soon. Malicious actors will continue to find new vulnerabilities to exploit – they are almost certainly looking at operational technology and IoT devices as targets after witnessing the impact of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.
Hence security risks within an organization are no longer restricted to just IT environment but the scope is now much broader and includes OT/IoMT and various other devices.

TheGizmoStar: How are you leveraging AI in your platform?
Mr Dave Patnaik: Forescout leverages AI – or a more apt description in our case – Machine Learning, to deliver a simplified and frictionless experience for classification of assets. With Forescout’s Device Cloud and over 50B data points, our new Machine Learning powered classification services allow customers a real time and continuous way to understand exactly what’s on their network with no manual intervention. Vedere Labs, Forescout’s threat intelligence and research team also leverages the Device Cloud for advanced intelligence to alert customers and the broader security community about emerging risks.

TheGizmoStar: What are the new trends as far as securing enterprise digital terrain is concerned?
Mr Dave Patnaik: Constant changes drive an organisations digital reality out of alignment. They include everyday changes such as device decay, software failure and staff turnover as well as mega events like corporate mergers and acquisitions, which can introduce massive change all at once. These changes constantly widen the gap in security risk posture, which translates into business risk: the next disruption, audit failure, operational safety concern, or production outage. Meanwhile, the security talent pool is shrinking, and IT teams are stretched thinner than ever.

The last two years has seen a hybrid work model (WFH, remote working etc). Organizations have been faced with new challenges in terms of securing their devices and data. Can you elaborate a bit from the perspective of securing enterprise data in this challenging environment?

Security teams across the globe face many challenges, not the least of which is trying to deal with an explosion in the number of digital assets and we have a serious cyber skills shortage. Very few professionals or college curriculums focus on cybersecurity, and that will take years to fix. As a result, enterprises will need to rely on more automation in their decision-making, including a heavy focus on visualization and analytics of all available data.
With the growing market of data analysis and incident response solutions, the challenge in 2022 will shift from technology to management processes for efficient incident response. Many organizations may lean into sharing their SOC capabilities with managed service providers (MSPs) to help bridge the gap of this cybersecurity skills shortage.
With so many point solutions in place but so few people to manage them, enterprises have been struggling to incorporate enterprise-wide cybersecurity. For that reason, in 2022 there should be a shift away from stand-alone cybersecurity solutions toward platform-based solutions that provide wider coverage within the enterprise and enable simplified integration with other tools.

TheGizmoStar: Five years down the line what is the future of cyber threat and security you see?

Mr Dave Patnaik: The number of connected devices has been increasing over the past few years and they will continue to grow exponentially.

With the ever-expanding number of IoT devices, we need to adapt to counter risks associated with various devices like wearable health monitors, smart vehicles, building automation and transportation logistics systems.

Whilst they do provide consumers and organizations alike new levels of improved efficiency, innovation and productivity, there is also an increase in the cyberattack surface. This means that as IoT devices evolve and multiply, security professionals will face complex challenges across various threat vectors.

Companies typically leverage thousands of connected devices, or digital assets, to maximize productivity and efficiency. Their numbers increase over time, as new assets are added to the network, either through acquisitions, innovations, or organic company growth.

Due to this expanded risk landscape and exposure across an organisations network, Cybersecurity breaches have become routine, but that hasn’t reduced their impact. The threat landscape continues to shift and evolve. The number of connected devices will continue to rise as more functions become “smart” or automated. That’s good news if your security programs keep pace. Visibility and asset management lay the foundation for network security. You can’t protect what you can’t see.