Zscaler Now Offering Freemium IoT Monitoring Dashboard

eWEEK NEW-PRODUCT ANALYSIS: Dashboard software, available for laptops and desktops only at this time, keeps users up to date in real time on exactly what’s happening with every device on business networks.

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Looking for a post-holiday gift to give a tech-minded friend—or yourself—and one that won’t require Fedex delivery? Would it help if it were free of charge? Now that we have your attention, we have an idea for you.

Zscaler has come out with a new, freemium Internet of Things Dashboard that it’s offering free of charge right now. The dashboard software, available for laptops and desktops only at this time, keeps users up to date in real time on exactly what’s happening with every device on business networks.

The dashboard offers pertinent information that includes brand and type of device, frequency and type of traffic, where the traffic comes and goes, security threats and several other metrics.

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How much traffic is generated by your devices? Way more than you might think.

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the use of internet of things (IoT) devices, and this trend is reflected in Zscaler’s cloud, which processes millions of transactions every day from internet-connected devices. The IoT dashboard allows users to see which devices—from printers to smartphones to data collection terminals—are generating the most traffic by day, week or month. Users can sort by device manufacturers and by the countries where the traffic originated and where it’s destined.

Why It's Important to Have Visibility Over Your Channels

Many IoT devices have weak security and communicate over unsecured channels, so it’s critical to have visibility into IoT traffic and to ensure that every connection is secured to reduce the risk of outside attacks. At the moment, not many individuals have any type of monitoring, and there are a lot of businesses that have none and could use this, too.

Many organizations are aware of the presence of a few devices, such as IP cameras and photocopiers, but are often surprised to find out how much traffic is being generated by devices they weren’t aware that were on their network, Deepen Desai, VP of Security Research and Operations for Zscaler, said.

Wouldn't it be great if you had live visibility into IoT traffic at the level of the Zscaler cloud? In recent months, Zscaler’s ThreatLabZ team has been increasing its automated detection capabilities to almost two dozen of the most popular IoT product families from 250 manufacturers to help to bring users exactly that kind of visibility.

“The genesis of this is that we've been tracking thousands of devices now across hundreds of different categories,” Desai told eWEEK. “We started fingerprinting this fair bit of automation and a little bit of ML (machine learning) as well, where we're trying to identify your IoT devices, and then a researcher will actually confirm and fingerprinted. So that’s the background on how we have collected the data over past two three to four years.”

Zscaler is now putting all the good user data to work in this dashboard.

“Three things that you would find useful from the dashboard,” Desai said. “One of them is, you will be able to tell what are the types of IoT devices that are out there in an enterprise network. Second is volume of traffic that these devices are generating. The third one is that you will be able to tell what are the destinations, where these IoT devices are communicating with others. And you could pick on any of the destinations and you will see; for example if you pick China, you will see lot of those devices that are manufactured over there that are sold in the U.S. are talking back to servers back to China, and it's not necessarily all bad. It could be for software updates and other stuff.”

About ThreatLabZ

ThreatLabZ is the embedded research team at Zscaler. This global team includes security experts, researchers, and network engineers responsible for analyzing and eliminating threats across the Zscaler security cloud and investigating the global threat landscape. The team shares its research and cloud data with the industry at large to help promote a safer internet.

So, back to the late gift idea: You can’t beat this one. No delivery worries, no cost.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...