Keeping devices in check

Issue 7 2022 Information Security, Asset Management, Infrastructure

Kaspersky’s latest invention is intended for logically linking various electronic devices into a single network around the account of the owner and identifying similarities between device configurations. The technology will help to prevent any user devices from becoming a vector of attack against another device or user data, and will inform them if their configuration is insecure.

According to Deloitte, the number of electronic devices with a network interface belonging to the same household or user has doubled in only the last three years. The similar growth, however, can be also observed in the attacks targeting IoT devices. This situation provokes the need for technologies that will ensure the security of various and mutual Internet-connected devices and their owners.

A single smart home usually consists of a number of devices, including home appliances and wearables with different security integration capabilities, code vulnerabilities and patch timing. So today, to keep a home safe from cyberattacks, an owner of all these devices must dedicate special attention to ensuring regular device patching, or configuring a secure device network that isolates insecure gadgets from others.

The patent ‘System and Method for Analysing Relationships Between Clusters of Electronic Devices to Counter Cyberattacks’, issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office, provides a new method of facilitating cybersecurity management of IoT devices. It allows users to detect every gadget belonging to the same network environment and to correlate them with similar networks for further identifying actual or potential cybersecurity gaps. Thus, if any device in the user’s network is insecure and has already been an attack vector, or if a similarly configured network has been compromised, the technology will detect it and warn the user or security solution about the possible danger.

While conventional linking technologies rely on data which can be removed (such as cookies) or on heuristics having inadequate accuracy, the Kaspersky invention offers reliable and long-lasting linkage of devices, relating them to a profile and operatively responding to a change in the user profile.

The patented technology also ensures attribution of an unknown device to a cluster of devices. The method implies the defining of relationships between the gadget and its environment/surroundings, and further applies the discovered patterns for attributing other devices into the same cluster. A relationship between the devices is determined using the computed similarity metric. This technology is intended to help cybersecurity solutions analyse connected devices to further understand if specific devices or their particular configuration pose any risks, and also offers the kind of protection needed and provides it.

“The technologies of linking devices are mostly used in marketing for learning consumer behaviour. But as a cybersecurity company, we saw that this functionality has a large potential in addressing the current challenges of connected device protection,” says Dmitry Ivanov, inventor of the technology and intellectual property specialist at Kaspersky. “Although the patented technology is not yet implemented into Kaspersky solutions, we are exploring possible ways for its application to make sure that it will advance IoT security to a new level.”




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