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Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on Mirai Botnet Malware and How Integrators Can Provide Cyber Solutions for Higher Education in SSI News Article, Part 1

June 26, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cybersecurity SSI

In the Security Sales & Integration (SSI) story, “How Integrators Can Solve Higher Education’s Cybersecurity Woes,” Hikvision’s senior director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, overviews Mirai botnet malware, and provides insights for integrators to provide cybersecurity solutions to higher education.

“How much different can a university or college be from a business? In spite of the obvious similarities among networks, the Ivory Tower, where bright, creative young people are ideally encouraged to be inquisitive and curious, presents unique challenges to network safety and to security integrators working in this vertical market,” said Davis, in the article.

When compared with a traditional business, higher education facilities have challenges that make its network security unique. Factors include network access by thousands of faculty and students per year, student tendency toward being curious, and students having more free time than full-time workers.

While most students don’t act maliciously and are simply curious, the Mirai botnet code and malware were written by a 21-year-old student from Rutgers University and his friends, Davis said in the SSI story. What can integrators learn from this? Davis explained that “The Mirai botnet is important for security integrators to understand because it was the first major cybersecurity attack that harnessed the power of compromised IoT devices such as home routers, security cameras and NVR/DVRs, to form a botnet of record-breaking power.”

Network Segmentation
Davis covered network segmentation as a cybersecurity best practice and first line of defense for integrators, and how network segmentation plays a role in preventing data security breaches.

“On a basic, flat network all devices can talk to one another. For example, PCs, security cameras, printers, smartphones and other smart devices such as thermostats or lightbulbs. If one device is compromised, all devices on that flat network can be seen and possibly infected by the compromised device. … [Network segmentation] applies the Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) by isolating sensitive or proprietary systems on a network that is only accessible by those who have a need to access those systems,” said Davis in the article.

The segmentation of networks reduces potential risk and liability, so one infected device or network will not impact every other one, containing cyber threats.

Click this HikWire blog to learn more from Davis about network segmentation and preventing malware and hacks.

Check back Monday for our Mirai botnet and Higher Education blog part 2, where we’ll discuss Davis’s insights for network segmentation specific to higher education.

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