New Spiceworks Tools Provide Ways to Discover IoT Security Threats

NEWS ANALYSIS: Spiceworks is providing a combination of new and currently available products to help enterprises discover potential Internet of things security threats.

Spiceworks IoT Scanner

AUSTIN, Texas:—A series of new and currently available Spiceworks products have been designed to help enterprises protect their networks from some of the worst internet of things security threats.

Spiceworks introduced the new products Nov. 2 at its SpiceWorld 2016 users conference here, including a new cloud-based IP scanner for networks and a blacklist scanner that can check for traffic being sent to dubious websites.

The latest round of the company's cloud-based products, all of which remain free to end users, will be fully integrated with each other, according to Spiceworks vice president of products, Tabrez Syed.

This means that a company can use the new version of the Spiceworks IP scanner to locate every device on their network. Users can then use the information from the scanner when running the Spiceworks' network configuration tools to help prevent those devices connecting to the internet.

Other new applications include a blacklist checker that allows network administrators to tell when network devices are contacting sites known to be related to attacks, malware delivery or sites that are receiving stolen data. This allows network managers to find infected computers or IoT devices to disconnect them, fix them or replace them.

Syed said that the Spiceworks products weren't developed with IoT security in mind, but the company soon realized the potential. So it is planning to create a set of checklists to help guide IT managers in how to use the company's tools for that purpose.

"The community can also help," Syed added.

Spiceworks' primary service is to operate an online community for IT professionals that specializes in self-help and mutual assistance, which means that IT staff can ask the community to suggest ways to solve newly emerging technical or security problems.

In addition, the community provides a good means of spotting those emerging problems well before they make the news.

"You can see a hint before it really starts to take off," Syed said.

The new version of the company's oldest product, its IP scanner, which compliments its Inventory application, is a critical first step for organizations trying to get a handle on their IoT exposure, Syed said, because it's able to scan every device of any type on the network to provide details about what kind of device it is and what it does.

He said that the first reaction by IT managers when they first run IP Scanner is amazement because more IT managers have no idea of all the things that are attached to their networks and the internet.

The updated cloud-based scanner has the advantage of always being up to date and requires little effort to implement it. IP Scanner is currently being beta tested, but a company spokesperson said that the production version will be released before the end of the year.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...