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Elisity Blog

Securing IT/IoT with Elisity: Modern Solutions for Complex Challenges

Securing IT and IoT with Elisity:

Organizations have been trying to solve the security problem presented by the proliferation of IT and IoT devices – a problem that for some organizations has proven to be a fatal flaw, resulting in severe security incidents that have taken months or even years to recover from. The pressure to address the risk associated with these devices has increasingly grown, as more and more of these devices make their way into business practices and everyday workflows. The challenges in securing such a mix of devices arise from their diversity, quantity, and the complexity of the networks they create. The web of required interconnectivity between these devices makes it challenging to secure these connections and shut down unnecessary communication without disrupting necessary communications. Every IT and IoT device integrated into a network could potentially act as a portal for security breaches, threatening to compromise sensitive information and disrupt essential operations. The rapid pace of technological advancement further intensifies these security challenges, as existing protocols struggle to keep up, often leaving systems exposed and vulnerable.

Elisity addresses these challenges with a strategy that simplifies and modernizes network security. By leveraging existing infrastructure and integrating data from every available source via IdentityGraph, Elisity transforms complex and disparate network information into coherent, actionable policies. This whitepaper will dissect the unique challenges of securing IT and IoT devices, outline Elisity’s strategies to mitigate these risks, and showcase successful implementations across various industries. Our solutions are designed to scale with your organization, ensuring that securing your network remains as uncomplicated and efficient as possible.


As we progress, we will explore the specific challenges of securing both IT and IoT devices, reveal how Elisity's solution navigates these complexities with ease, and demonstrate, through real-world examples, the strength and flexibility of our approach.

Challenges with Securing Large Numbers of IT/IoT Devices

Most organizations have continually experienced growth in both the number of devices on their networks and the size of their digital infrastructure. With IT devices at the center of data processing and management and IoT devices interfacing directly with the physical world, ensuring each device's integrity is a monumental task. The volume of devices compounds the difficulty, as securing a multitude means more endpoints to monitor, more software versions to update, and more interactions to oversee.

Mixed environments amplify the complexity of network management. IT teams must navigate a landscape where IoT devices, often designed for simplicity and ease of use rather than security, join traditional IT devices on the same network. This calls for a security strategy that can span the full spectrum of devices, addressing the unique vulnerabilities and usage patterns of each without compromising the efficiency and accessibility that make IoT devices so valuable.

Types of Devices and Their Inherent Risks

IoT devices are inherently more insecure than their IT counterparts. Many of these devices host local web servers, have open network ports by default, and have commonly known and published exploits of these vulnerabilities. These are the same devices that are often incompatible with agent-based security solutions, ruling out many options for securing these devices.

IT devices have their own set of challenges. Although these devices are generally more secure, the introduction of user interaction opens a new set of challenges. Through phishing attempts or methods that exploit user privileges, a compromised IT asset can be used as a launching point for an attack on critical infrastructure that ultimately leads to the shutdown of critical business processes.

Legacy devices pose yet another set of challenges. We commonly find that legacy systems are kept in service years after their end of life (EoL). When manufacturers stop offering patches and firmware updates for devices that companies cannot afford to replace, vulnerabilities are no longer be addresses as they are discovered, and OEMs no longer take responsibility for ensuring that these devices operate securely.

A persistent challenge within IT and IoT ecosystems is the presence of unmanaged and rogue devices. Unmanaged devices traditionally lack the visibility and oversight that come with compliant, domain-joined devices. Rogue devices, which are unauthorized or unrecognized by network security systems, introduce threats from within and often go undetected until they cause significant harm. Identifying, monitoring, and securing these types of devices necessitate robust detection mechanisms and a comprehensive security strategy that can react swiftly to neutralize risks.

The trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies has increased flexibility and reduced costs for many organizations. However, it introduces variability in security postures, as employees connect personal devices with potentially lax security to corporate networks. Ensuring that both BYOD and corporate-owned devices comply with security policies without hindering user experience or privacy is a delicate balance that requires thoughtful policy development and effective enforcement tools.

Compliance Pressures from Regulatory Bodies

Compliance Snapshot

Regulatory compliance is a significant driver of security practices, particularly in industries that manage sensitive data, such as healthcare, finance, and government. Organizations must navigate an intricate web of regulations that mandate specific security standards and data protection measures. Failing to meet these requirements can result in hefty fines, legal consequences, and reputational damage, making compliance an operational necessity.

Operational Requirements - Zero Downtime

As organizations grow and technology evolves, security solutions must scale accordingly. A scalable security framework is essential to protect an increasing number of IT and IoT devices across expanding operational footprints. This scalability must not compromise the effectiveness of security measures, ensuring that protection is consistent regardless of network size.

For many sectors, such as healthcare, energy, and manufacturing, system availability is non-negotiable. Operational technology that supports critical infrastructure must be protected by security solutions that guarantee zero downtime. This requires innovative approaches that safeguard systems against disruptions, even during security incidents, updates, or policy changes.


Elisity’s Approach to Unified IT and IoT Security - Modernizing Security Frameworks

Overview of Elisity

Elisity’s vision for security transcends the traditional silos that separate IT and IoT management. We have engineered a solution that simplifies the complexity inherent in protecting a diverse ecosystem.


First, we create a single source of truth in IdentityGraph, gathering data from every available source in your network through our rich support of integrations with third party IDPs, CMDBs, SIEMs, and EDR solutions. We then use this data to automatically classify assets into Policy Groups using our incredibly powerful policy engine, using flexible user-defined match criteria and matching logic. This feedback loop enables the identification of unauthorized and rogue devices, which can then be identified and secured, or removed from the network. Users then create policies between these Policy Groups using our Policy Matrix. These policies are then dynamically distributed to the relevant policy enforcement points. Policy distribution is as powerful and flexible as our identity engine, allowing policies per site or global policies across your enterprise network. All of this is executed from Cloud Control Center, our cloud-hosted management pane.
By integrating security management into a single pane of glass, organizations can streamline their operations, reduce administrative overhead, and focus on proactive security strategies rather than be burdened with complex, disparate system management tasks.

Scalable Solutions for Diverse Environments

Elisity’s simple deployment model enables large scale organizations to reach policy enforcement in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional NAC-style solutions. There is no other solution available for campus network security with a lower barrier to entry. Let’s take a look at what Elisity does to enable this kind of rapid time-to-value.

Ease of Deployment and Management

Streamlined Deployment Processes for IT and IoT
Elisity acknowledges that one of the key barriers to robust security adoption is the complexity of deployment. To counter this, Elisity has engineered deployment processes that are efficient and minimally invasive. For both IT and IoT infrastructures, the deployment is designed to be fast and straightforward, reducing the need for specialized training or prolonged system downtimes. This approach accelerates the transition to a secure environment, allowing organizations to benefit from enhanced protection without a lengthy or disruptive implementation phase.


Leveraging Existing Network Hardware and Software Investments

A key aspect of Elisity’s strategy is leveraging existing network hardware and software investments, maximizing the value of what organizations have already built. This approach not only optimizes costs but also accelerates deployment times and enhances the return on investment for network security infrastructure. Our technology is designed to integrate seamlessly with the existing network components, providing enhanced security without the need for extensive hardware overhauls or complete system replacements. Elisity transforms your existing switching infrastructure into policy enforcement nodes through our innovative technology called Virtual Edge. Virtual Edge translates identity and policy data from Cloud Control Center into policy enforcement mechanisms native to the onboarded switches, called Virtual Edge Nodes (VENs). This approach allows rapid onboarding of existing infrastructure into the Elisity fabric, with large numbers of VENs controlled by a single Virtual Edge.

Deployment Methods2

Intuitive Management Interfaces Reducing Operational Strain
Operational efficiency is a cornerstone of Elisity’s platform design. The management interfaces are crafted to be intuitive, making complex security tasks manageable even for those with limited technical expertise. This user-friendly design reduces the operational strain on teams, enabling them to manage security policies, identity data, and analytics data with ease. By minimizing the learning curve and simplifying routine processes, Elisity allows security staff to direct their focus toward strategic security concerns, rather than the intricacies of system management.

CCC Policy Dashboard

Effective Security from Small to Large Deployments Whether securing a single campus or thousands across a global enterprise, Elisity’s security solutions are built to deliver at any scale. This capability ensures that as organizations grow, their security framework grows with them, maintaining protection without compromising on performance or control. The adaptability of Elisity’s solutions means that businesses of any size can trust that their IT and IoT devices are comprehensively protected.


A Superior Solution for Securing IT/IoT Devices

Let's talk about what makes Elisity a better solution for securing on-prem IT and IoT devices.

1. Our Method of Microsegmentation

In the pursuit of a fortified on-prem IT and IoT landscape, Elisity's microsegmentation stands as a cornerstone methodology.

True Agentless Microsegmentation at the Network Edge: There are a couple of major downsides to agent-based security solutions. One, they must be installed on all your endpoints, which is no small task. Secondly, they cannot be installed on some endpoints. Those devices without agents are left with access to whatever network segment they are restricted to. Unless you are enforcing segmentation policy at the network edge, this is probably a pretty large network segment. This is why microsegmentation at the network edge is the best strategy for securing unmanaged devices. This is Elisity’s approach: one that is unencumbered by the demands of endpoint agent management and deployment complexities. This also alleviates the need to make dramatic changes to the data plane to achieve segmentation. Legacy segmentation methods such as VLANs, Firewalls, Domain policies, etc. can be left in place. This edge-focused, agentless microsegmentation allows for a more nimble and efficient security posture that scales with organizational needs without compromising endpoint performance.

Unified Identity through IdentityGraph: At the core of Elisity's approach is IdentityGraph, our sophisticated identity engine. Using IdentityGraph we have the ability to integrate data from various security solutions into a unified view, enabling unprecedented coherence and confidence in device identity data across the security ecosystem. All of this data ingested in IdentityGraph can then be used as Policy Group match criteria. We believe that this aggregation of identity data is essential for enforcing microsegmentation policies with confidence. IdentityGraph gives assurance that every device is classified into the correct policy group, which is critical for ensuring that these devices receive the correct policies. Policy Groups can include trust attributes so that only devices known in external sources of record can access certain resources. For example, you could configure policies and PGs so that only verified IP Cameras can talk to your NVR Servers. The use cases are many.

Simulated Policies and Policy Impact Assurance: Elisity's platform includes a unique feature to simulate and forecast the outcomes of proposed security policies. Before implementation, policy impact is assessed in a controlled environment, providing vital insights into the potential ramifications on network operations. This proactive stance enables organizations to assure the impact of their security strategies and adjust them to perfection, thereby minimizing disruption and aligning security objectives with business continuity.

2. Dynamic Nature of Our Approach

Elisity’s dynamic security approach ensures policies are agile and context-aware, addressing the fluidity of digital assets.

Policy Adherence to Assets: As assets are introduced to the network—whether authorized, unauthorized, or transient—Elisity's policies dynamically attach to them, monitoring both identity and location from the outset. This dynamic policy adherence underscores a comprehensive security model that extends protection even to the most ephemeral network entities, effectively safeguarding against shadow IT and rogue devices.

Immediate Policy Distribution: When threats surface or anomalies are detected, Elisity’s framework is structured for instantaneous response. Policy updates or completely new sets of policies can be propagated in real-time, enabling immediate measures such as incident response Policy Sets or asset quarantining. This can all be accomplished from a single dashboard within Cloud Control Center. This promptness is essential to curbing potential security breaches and mitigating risks on the fly.

3. Unparalleled Visibility

Elisity's unmatched visibility into network operations is a valuable tool for security management.


Total Asset Discovery: Elisity's capacity to identify and catalogue every asset on the network forms the bedrock of its security capabilities. We turn every This exhaustive discovery process ensures that no device remains invisible, providing a comprehensive asset inventory essential for granular policy application and risk management.

Traffic Pattern Analysis: With Elisity, network administrators can effortlessly decipher communication flows and traffic patterns. The ability to analyze interactions between policy groups or individual assets affords a deeper understanding of network behavior, enabling the detection of subtle security threats and optimizing network configurations for both performance and security.

Immediate Security Enhancements through Analytics: The integration of real-time visibility with sophisticated analytics allows Elisity to transform raw data into actionable security intelligence. This powerful combination empowers organizations to reinforce their networks proactively, ensuring that security strategies evolve in tandem with the ever-changing threat landscape.


Recap: What Sets Elisity Apart

The benefits of implementing Elisity’s security measures are manifold. Organizations gain the advantage of a streamlined security infrastructure that is both adaptable to different scales and responsive to the distinct needs of IT and IoT devices. By enforcing consistent policies and leveraging existing technological investments, Elisity’s solutions ensure that security keeps pace with the rapid evolution of digital networks.

We invite you to experience the efficacy of our microsegmentation solution firsthand. Your journey towards secure, scalable, and intuitive network management begins with Elisity. Engage with us today to ensure that your digital infrastructure is prepared for the threats of tomorrow. Request a demo to learn more.



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