The Age of the Air-Gap is Coming to an End


Providing protection between two disparate networks traditionally has been to physically isolate the two with an air-gap, can we air-gap the physical world from the virtual?   From experience we have seen how air gaps have provided a false sense of security and the results when they are compromised with the likes of Stuxnet and Night Dragon. With the growth of capabilities with Internet of Things (IoT) maybe it’s time to change the model.  The replacement will be managing intelligent system of systems and their collective contribution and interaction with other intelligent system of systems. Qualities to manage with intelligent groups of systems will include responsibility, trustworthiness, integrity assurance, and accountability.  These are not readily visible security qualities and will require oversight to measure and attest to develop trust.

These digital conquests are the new opportunities for business and better, smarter environments for consumers. More computing is available at the edge that will to collect, process, filter, and take action.  The advances in compute economics will continue to make this an attractive model for developers, manufacturers and analysts to track.  But there are plenty of existing compute devices that would be considered legacy, contain mechanics and rudimentary compute controls that are not going away and can be found across all industries.  The power will be in harnessing and providing the secure connections and capabilities that will augment these systems and give greater visibility with faster data capture, access, and elevated security on par for the risks in our pervasive digital evolution.

Security has to be more than a gatekeeper determining who will pass through the ‘gap’ if they have the proper credentials. With such opportunity and growth potential security has to be considered at design conception to ensure long-term success.  McAfee is participating with Wind River and Intel in a joint vision, and product announcements, of integrated intelligence from device to cloud specifically for Internet of Things. This will include not only new compute options designed to be optimized for Internet of Things but also gateway solutions that will provide the means to on-ramp existing systems and their data into the collective mix of our digital evolution.  Learn more about the value that McAfee provides for devices, through our Embedded Security and a replay from the live announcement of how The Internet of Things starts with Intelligence Inside.

 -Kim Singletary

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