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Amazon Wants to Secure Things from the Cloud with IoT Device Defender

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new Internet of Things (IoT) security service on Nov.29 at its re:Invent conference, called IoT Device Defender. The goal of IoT Device defender is to help limit risks from unsecured IoT devices.

"Security is the number one priority," Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, said during his re:Invent keynote.

Jassy noted that in October 2016 the Mirai IoT DDoS attack against the Dyn DNS service brought large swaths of the internet to a standstill. With Mirai a large volume of IoT devices were exploited to become part of the botnet, in large part due to the use of default credentials.

AWS already had the IoT Core platform which enabled developers to manage security on a per-device basis. The challenge that Mirai presented however is managing security at massive scale for IoT.

"The AWS IoT Device Defender will define and enforce security policies for fleets of devices," Jassy said.

Jassy said that IoT Device Defender will monitor an entire fleet of devices for compliance policies and best practices. As such, an organization can set the normal operational parameters and policies for a given fleet of devices and then Device Defender will make sure those policies are enforced. One example of a best practice is to not share the same security certificate across different devices.

"Device Defender also monitors your entire fleet for abnormal behavior that might indicate a potential security issue," Jassy said.

If a certain port is open that shouldn't be or if data is being sent to a known malicious IP address, Device Defender is able to identify that and block the action.

"This will be a big step forward for handling the security of lots of devices," Jassy said.

Using the cloud to help protect and defend against potential IoT security risks is not a new idea. On April 27, CloudFlare announced its Orbit security services that helps to shield IoT devices and their users from a variety of risks.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurityPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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