HPE Aruba weaves new fabric for analytics-driven IoT security

HPE Aruba weaves new fabric for analytics-driven IoT security

HPE Aruba executives say the company has aligned its latest software layers to be more specifically engineered to address security concerns in the IoT.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) networking and communications products company Aruba has updated its stack with a product labelled as the 360 Secure Fabric.

This ‘fabric’ (or security software framework architecture plus associated and connected application services and functions) is supposed to provide analytics-driven attack detection and response.

Where many security software layers have (until now) been focused on user behavior analysis, the IoT necessitates that admins also analyze the behavior and status of devices. In response, the company says it is innovating in user and entity behavioral analytics (‘UEBA’) and expanding its IntroSpect product family to reflect new needs.

According to Aruba spokespeople, the 360 Secure Fabric offers security teams an integrated way to detect and respond to advanced cyberattacks from pre-authorisation to post-authorisation across multi-vendor infrastructures.

The product uses machine-learning to spot attacks before they do damage, in tandem with raising the alarm for IT to further secure the network across all mobile, cloud and IoT-related devices.

Read more: IoT is heading for mass adoption by 2019, says Aruba

Partner power

The technology combines the resources and endpoint technology engineering expertise of over 100 partners (including Palo Alto Networks, McAfee and MobileIron) to create an interoperable platform for any network deployment use case.

“As traditional security perimeters dissolve rapidly with the adoption of mobile, cloud and IoT, delivering secure endpoint protection regardless of a user’s location and device is paramount in the fight against cybercrime,” said D.J. Long, head of the McAfee Security Innovation Alliance.

“We are very happy to see the integrated platform of Aruba 360 Secure Fabric working jointly with the McAfee portfolio of security products, sharing threat intelligence and workflow policies, increasing the efficiency and efficacy of security protection for mutual customers.”

Read more: Aruba releases new IoT products for large campus deployments

The sum of its parts

Components of the 360 Secure Fabric include the following:

  • Aruba IntroSpect UEBA solution: A network-agnostic family of continuous monitoring and attack detection software that includes a new entry-level edition and uses machine learning to detect changes in user and device behavior that can indicate attacks. Machine-learning algorithms generate a risk score based on the severity of an attack to speed up incident investigations for security teams.
  • Aruba ClearPass: A network access control (NAC) and policy management security product that can profile BYOD and IoT users and devices, enabling automated attack response – this technology is now integrated with Aruba IntroSpect.
  • Aruba Secure Core: Security capabilities embedded in the foundation across all of Aruba’s Wi-Fi access points, wireless controllers and switches, including the new Aruba 8400 campus core and aggregation switch.

Read more: Confusion around IoT hampers adoption in EMEA, says Aruba

Aruba strategy appears connected

The company’s efforts have been steering in this direction for some time now. Even before its acquisition by HPE back in 2015, we saw it start to extend new layers of AI and wider device-centric engineering into its product line. A big brand in its own right (and one that has kept its own name post-acquisition), Aruba is now benefiting from its own ‘internal acquisition’ of HP’s pre-existing network business.

This fact was confirmed by now-retired president and CEO Dominic Orr, who oversaw what has been a largely harmonious acquisition and transition. As UEBA machine learning security now becomes part of the wider fabric of the way we build the IoT, we will need attack detection technologies capable of correlating information across a broader array of data sources for threat-hunting, search and forensics – and this is indeed what Aruba has created.

My wife’s gone to the Caribbean on holiday this year. Jamaica? No Aruba… and yes, she went of her own accord.


Coming soon: Our IoT Build events, taking place in London in November 2017 and San Francisco in March 2018 are a great opportunity for attendees to explore the platforms, architectures, applications and connectivity that comprise the IoT ecosystem.

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IoT is heading for mass adoption by 2019 says Aruba

IoT is heading for mass adoption by 2019 says Aruba

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has published the results of a survey looking at adoption levels, security concerns and business use cases for the Internet of Things across EMEA. Among its findings is that mass adoption of IoT is expected by 2019, with better than expected business results a key driver. The study was conducted with Kevin Ashton, creator of the term Internet of Things.

IoT is consistently over-delivering

The research revealed that IoT deployments delivered benefits that vastly exceeded expectations in the two key performance areas of business efficiency and profitability.

It found that while 16 percent of business leaders projected a large profit gain from their IoT investment, after IoT had been adopted 32 percent of executives said they saw profit increases.

And, while 29 percent of executives expected their IoT strategies to result in business efficiency improvements, after deployment 46 percent said that they experienced efficiency gains.

Internet of Business spoke to Morten Illum, EMEA Vice President at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company about this anomaly. He told us this “shows that the hype is not misplaced when IoT is used in the correct manner. The only way that IoT can fall short of expectations is if we don’t sufficiently use the data that the sensors are gathering from their surroundings. The onus is on us to make use of the data created to realize our own high hopes.”

It’s an obstacle race

Despite the gains to be made from implementing IoT, the research revealed that there are still many obstacles that stop it being implemented. Cost of implementation was reported as one of these by 50 percent, maintenance by 44 percent and integration of legacy technology by 43 percent.

Data, which is the central plank of the IoT, also presents issues for many organisations. While 98 percent of organizations that have adopted IoT claim that they can analyse data, 97 percent feel there are challenges to creating value from this data.

Security is also a significant issue, with 84 percent reporting that they had experienced an IoT related security breach. Not surprisingly with that figure in mind, more than half said that external attacks are a key barrier to moving forward with an IoT strategy.

Reacting to this, Morten Illum told Internet of Business, “It’s clear that companies need more information about the devices connecting to their network. Network managers require the ability to create policies/permissions around each of them, so that if a device is compromised by malware or human error, it can be identified and removed from the wider network.”

Read more: 5G will drive IoT adoption, Ericsson claims

The situation in 2019

Despite these challenges the report concludes that 85 percent of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency.

77 percent of businesses believe it will allow them to transform offices into smart workplaces. 59 percent say IoT will allow them to increase employee productivity, 40 percent expect it to help with growing the business, and 20 percent see it as improving worker’s ability to collaborate.

The challenge, Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing at Aruba, points out, is working out the right strategy for IoT. Commenting on the report he said, “With many executives unsure of how to apply IoT to their business, those who succeed in implementing IoT are well positioned to gain a competitive advantage.”

Read more: Connected tech adoption in manufacturing set to double

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Aruba releases new IoT products for large campus deployments

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has launched a new enterprise core and aggregation switch, and a new operating system, ArubaOS-CX, to meet the demands of IoT on large campuses.

The wireless networking company says that as enterprises move towards mobile and cloud-based networks to accommodate IoT devices and applications, network core switches have not kept up. Incumbent core switch technology is unable to cope with the surge in network traffic, the added complexity of the environment, and the increasing need for visibility, insights, and quick remediation that IoT devices introduce, Aruba says.

The Aruba 8400 Switch Series supposedly solves this problem for large campuses by extending the intelligence from the edge to the core of the network. The core switch has 19.2Tbps switching capacity and a virtual switching framework with two chassis that scale up to 512 10GbE, 128 40GbE, or 96 100GbE ports.

The switch should address the needs of enterprises that require early visibility and insights into network connectivity and traffic patterns, and the opportunity to predict and resolve network problems with analytics before they result in significant network downtime. Used in tandem with the Aruba Network Analytics Engine, the core switch should save enterprises both time, resources and costs, the company claims.

The Aruba 8400 also comes with the ArubaOS-CX, which Aruba describes as “a departure from today’s static, inflexible operating system design.” The ArubaOS-CX acts as the ‘brains’ of the switch, automating and simplifying many critical network tasks. Both products were announced at HPE Discover in Las Vegas this week.

Read more: Huawei insists IoT networks need ‘systematic’ planning

Key benefits

Aruba suggests the key benefits of the 8400 and the new operating system for IT include:

  • Automated visibility for early detection: the Aruba Network Analytics Engine allows IT professionals to monitor network, system, application, and security-related activities with simple rules-based monitoring and automatic correlation of network activities.
  • Faster resolution with network insights: The Aruba 8400 should resolve troubleshoot problems via its programmability and intelligent policy-based integration with network monitoring, performance, and security management tools.
  • Simple programmability to help IT scale: the Aruba 8400 is fully programmable with a built-in Python interpreter and RESTbased APIs for every function, which allows for easy integration and ongoing flexibility with infrastructure and applications.

Tomball Independent School District in Texas, which operates over 20 schools in the area, is already using the technology. “In K-12 districts like ours, greater network automation and programmability means less need for us to devote time and valuable resources to maintenance and management,” said Thomas Brawley, director of technology services at Tomball.

“With the new Aruba 8400 core switch’s monitoring and analytics capabilities, we can automate troubleshooting to resolve issues quickly and ensure a reliable, secure network experience for our users. The Aruba 8400 allows us to reduce manual ‘touches’, so our IT team can focus on other critical activities.”

Read more: Nokia gets a ‘fix’ on IoT networks

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Confusion around IoT hampers adoption in EMEA, says Aruba

Disparate knowledge of IoT hampers adoption in EMEA, says Aruba

IoT adoption in Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) is hampered by a disparate understanding of the technology among business and IT leaders, according to a survey.

The poll of 1,400 business and IT leaders in 11 countries in EMEA was announced this morning at Aruba Atmosphere EMEA 2017. It was carried out by wireless networking specialist Aruba Networks, a HPE company.

The EMEA IoT showdown: Business vs IT report shows that IoT adoption currently sits at 50 percent, a figure which is set to rise to 82 percent by 2019. The problem, according to Aruba, is that there is a clear lack of alignment between business and IT leadership regarding what IoT is, how it is being used and even whether it has been adopted.

Points of confusion

Respondents highlighted several points of confusion affecting IoT adoption in the region.

Fundamentally, the main point of contention is the definition of IoT. The man who coined the phrase IoT, Kevin Ashton, says it means “sensors connected to the Internet and behaving in an Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc connections, sharing data freely and allowing unexpected applications, so computers can understand the world around them and become humanity’s nervous system.”

Yet, 65 percent of IT leaders define IoT as ‘adding internet connectivity to everyday objects’ while 48 percent of business leaders suggest it means ‘automation of building services’. Both are true, but Aruba says these definitions miss a wider point about the benefits IoT has to offer.

Similarly, there is disagreement over the use cases for IoT, with the result that EMEA businesses fail to spot the opportunities. IT leaders believe the primary use for IoT is monitoring and maintenance of critical equipment, whereas business leaders believe it is to provide location-based services.

This has created a “highly fragmented” IoT landscape, with countries reporting drastically different levels of IoT adoption, understanding of IoT, and levels of perceived security that it offers, according to Aruba. The company’s report suggests that there is even confusion over whether IoT is in use in their own businesses. 58 percent of business leaders believe it is, whereas only 47% of IT leaders agree.

Morten Illum, vice president of EMEA at Aruba commented on the findings: “It’s clear that there are conflicting views within departments on IoT, but with IoT adoption moving at an unprecedented rate and the business reporting clear business value from IoT, it is essential that there is an open dialogue around IoT to ensure cohesion on IoT adoption. Conflicting priorities could mean disruption in its success within the organization.”

Read more: How can organizations close the IoT skills gap?

Reasons to be positive

Despite this disparate understanding of IoT, majorities in both parties say they will roll out an IoT project in the future, believing it will improve productivity, reduce operational risk and bring greater efficiency and better value to their business.

At present, Spain is supposedly the leading country in Europe when it comes to IoT adoption, with 69 percent of respondents from that country claiming to have deployed the technology. France and Italy are not far behind with an adoption rate of 61 percent, while the UK and Sweden sit at a lowly 37 percent with only Norway behind them on 34 percent.

There remains much to be positive about, however. Illum believes “EMEA has a huge opportunity with IoT. With executives across the region already reporting significant business benefits such as enhanced customer experiences and better innovation, those who are able to successfully align and connect internal structures to implement IoT are well positioned to gain a competitive advantage.”

Read more: IoT held back by skills gap, say a third of execs

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Aruba predicts a hybrid future for edge and cloud computing

Aruba predicts a hybrid future for edge and cloud computing

Internet of Business appraises the first day of Aruba Networks’  Atmosphere EMEA 2017 conference, currently underway at Disneyland Paris. 

The theme at this year’s Aruba conference, which kicked off today at Disneyland Paris, is “The Innovation Edge”. Predictably, the focus is on the future of edge computing, but this year, there’s the added importance of IoT to consider, according to executives at the HPE-owned wireless networking specialist.

Opening the conference, Wired Magazine Editor-at-Large David Rowan asked the audience, “What makes innovators tick?”

His speech was peppered with examples to which attendees might aspire, from Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, for creating underground tunnels for transportation, to Amazon’s PrimeAir drone delivery arm.

But while both technologies could change people’s lives, if they ever get off the ground, other businesses have more modest plans for innovation and operations improvement that could still make a big difference to their own productivity and profitability.

Innovate or die

Either way, time is of the essence, Rowan stressed. “Things will never move this slowly again,” he said. The point being, with the speed at which technology is moving, every business must be prepared to innovate or die.

And innovate is exactly what most businesses are looking to do, analyst house IDC’s group vice president, Thomas Meyer came on to assure attendees. In fact, two-thirds of businesses are looking at digital transformation to increase efficiencies and improve productivity, he said, citing IDC’s FutureScape report for 2016.

The most important technologies in this process, Meyer said, will be cloud computing and IoT. IDC is predicting that spending on IoT will hit $ 1.3 trillion by 2020, while two-thirds of enterprise IT infrastructure will be spent on cloud-based offerings by the same point.

Read more: Are we edging closer to IoT Edge Computing?

In fact, IoT’s benefits are already being experienced by early adopters, said Aruba founder Keerti Melkote. “I keep hearing IoT is coming,” he said. “And, to be honest, six months ago I was like ‘yes, I’ve heard about this, it’s a lot of marketing, but is it real?’ And from what I’m seeing now, it is real.”

“There is IoT happening now in many different ways. Everything that manufacturers are building now is getting connected, and these are things that are going to get connected to your network. You may or may not know about it, but they’re going to ask for an IP address or if you have a Wi-Fi network they will simply connect using a password.”

Melkote admitted that this security challenge has meant Aruba has had to do its own innovating just to keep up. Until a few months ago when it acquired network security company Niara, HPE Aruba did not have the technology to detect which devices were on the network or the ability to monitor the behavior of those using the devices to establish whether they posed a threat. Now it can.

Read more: SAS, Cisco claim first platform for IoT analytics at the edge

A hybrid future for edge and cloud

But the theme of innovation did not end there. Melkote touched on the next innovation in IoT that everyone is talking about: edge computing.

At the end of last year, Peter Levine, a partner at venture capitalist firm Andreesen Horowitz, spoke about the end of cloud computing. Levine suggested that all data processing would soon be moved onto devices, such as driverless cars and drones, at the edge of the network, limiting the cloud’s use to providing storage.

Melkote agrees that the currently centralised ‘things’ architecture, which is largely controlled by the cloud, will soon be localised at the edge, due to the latency requirements of most IoT applications. But he did not go as far as sounding the death knell for cloud computing. Instead, he suggests the future will see a hybrid model where edge-based processing and cloud-based modelling come together. “2020 will be the year of edge intelligence and cloud working together,” he said.

It’s an interesting prospect, and one that Aruba promises to expand on throughout the remainder of the conference.

Read more: Hewlett Packard Enterprise ‘Edges’ IoT closer to mass adoption

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