We’ve lost control of the internet, says Avaya


The hype surrounding the internet of things has given way to the reality of a network which is growing faster than any other in history, and causing unprecedented security headaches. 

This is according to Jean Turgeon, chief technologist at Avaya, who gave a speech at the IP Expo entitled Internet of Things — Forget the Hype, this is the Reality.

Turgeon says that whereas in the past IT managers were able to see and manage what devices were on their networks, today that is no longer the case.


“In the past, the perimeter was very well defined,” said Turgeon. “Therefore, you looked at what was going on at the entry point from the public Internet to your own enterprise, and IT, for the most part, had a lot of control over the devices that were entering their network.”

But since those days, when the world was much more simple, things have gone crazy, he said.

“Today, with IoT, BYOD, BYOX, we’ve lost control over what enters the network; sensors technology, wearables, multi-purpose devices, are all coming into the enterprise.”

The solution he says is the “everywhere perimeter”, a concept which Avaya has articulated in the recent past.

The idea of the everywhere perimeter has three pillars, says Avaya:

  • hyper-segmentation — this can lead to a reduction in the targetable area for attackers, enables quarantine, improves anomaly scanning, and makes the firewall more efficient;
  • native stealth — hackers can be contained within hyper-segments, and investigated discreetly; and
  • automatic elasticity — as end-point devices close down, the networking services retract from the edge.

“The perimeter is everywhere within your enterprise,” says Turgeon. “In your data centre, in your campuses, and your brand new mobile devices or any of those devices that will eventually get connected to your infrastructure to address your business needs.”

Turgeon says one of the most important trends is the way devices which in the past may have been designed for only one function becoming multi-purpose devices — the mobile phone being a prime example.

“We are seeing the internet of things evolve from a single-purpose device platform to a multi-purpose or multi-services type of a system,” said Turgeon.