By Curtis Simpson, Armis’ new CISO & former Vice President & Global CISO at Sysco
It was a few short years ago that I came to the realization that sharing my experiences and learnings with the larger community has become one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job. Why? I was extending my reach in an effort to help the larger community better protect companies, staff, customers, and families from the fallout of cyberattacks.
Though not a particularly surprising revelation considering my career in IT and more specifically security was launched by my passions for technology (both its intended and unintended effects) as well as safeguarding others from harm. However, this realization is what truly placed me on the path to Armis.
As a practitioner who believes that both the first and last course of defense often lies with the endpoint, I had also come to another conclusion: IoT devices were on a trajectory to surpass the number of traditional computing devices in a few short years.
Even devices that were traditionally disconnected and benign (e.g. portable safes) were now arriving with Internet-enabled quality of life features. Many of these devices were inherently vulnerable with limited to no due care around security. Being walled off devices by nature, traditional agent-based endpoint protection would also not be a means of securing these devices. The attack surface was growing exponentially, and traditional solutions were limited in their effectiveness to manage this new risk. These devices were the new, insecure endpoint.
This realization and the community discussions that followed eventually led a mutual friend to introduce me to Armis’ CEO, Yevgeny Dibrov. It was immediately clear that Armis was exactly the solution Sysco needed, and a quick proof of value confirmed my excitement. Not only did we now have full visibility into each of the IoT devices on our network, but we could also monitor for, alert on, and take action against security events affecting these endpoints.
“Unknown device” was now a term of the past and our prior understanding of the IoT landscape was quickly proven to be incorrect. The full visibility enabled through Armis increased our knowledge of in place IoT devices, which immediately jumped from the hundreds to thousands. These were thousands of devices for which agent-based risk management would not be an option.
Fast forward to today, and the story is incredible. You have a single platform that can discover and identify every device on a network (and even update a CMDB accordingly), assign a risk score to each device to enable risk-based business decisions, monitor for and act on signs of malicious communications or deviations from expected behavior, and all passively without the need for an agent; one product delivering the value of many. I have seen the issues with unmanaged - or un-agentable - devices. And it is exciting to be a part of the solution to secure them.
As my personal story continued, my growing desire to contribute on a larger scale led to my decision to move from industry to a technology provider that was having a meaningful impact on risks facing organizations and citizens today and beyond. Armis was top of mind and top on my list.