Therese Van Ryne and Mike Zachman discuss enterprise security challenges and Zebra's solutions in a sit-down interview.
By Mike Zachman | February 17, 2020

Study: More Companies Are Opening Up Their Networks to Share Data, But They’re Also Doing More to Lock Them Down

Millions of devices are connected to the Internet of Things – and every single one of them must be secured. What’s the best way to do so? We ask Zebra’s security chief.

There will be an estimated 46 billion industrial and enterprise devices connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2023, according to Juniper Research.

That’s no surprise considering that mobile technologies – whether a smartphone, scanner, tablet, wearable or even printer – are the primary workflow enablers at the edge of the enterprise. They work in conjunction with other connected technologies, such as sensors, co-bots, RFID, blockchain and even artificial intelligence (AI), to gather and distribute task-related intelligence to workers on the front lines. IoT-connected devices, and of course the IoT platform itself, are what enable enterprises to “sense, analyze and act” on both issues and opportunities in real time. They are the means by which enterprises meet modern efficiency standards and rising customer standards for speed, selection, safety and quality.

In other words: enterprises are in dire need of the 24/7 real-time intelligence that IoT-connected devices can deliver.

Our Dependency on Connected Devices is Real. But, Is It Also Risky? That Depends.

As evidenced by Zebra’s 2019 Intelligent Enterprise Index,

  • The pace of IoT adoption is picking up, with more companies moving from the exploratory to execution phases of their journeys.
  • Spending on IoT solutions and other data-driven technology platforms has been steadily increasing, with over half of enterprises expecting to increase their investments by another 21-50+ percent in the next couple of years.
  • Intelligence-driven technology deployments are broadening, with nearly half of IoT solution implementations now occurring on a company-wide scale.

But as enterprises deploy more IoT-connected devices such as barcode scanners, handheld mobile computers, tablets and even printers, their data potentially becomes more vulnerable.

That means security becomes more of a priority. At least, it should.

Right now, 62 percent of enterprises are now constantly monitoring their IoT security to ensure system integrity and data privacy according to the 2019 Intelligent Enterprise Index insights – a sign that things are trending in the right direction. (Just two years ago, in 2017, only 49 percent of enterprises had a constant security monitoring protocol, with 47 percent just periodically monitoring their systems.)

However, risk-averse enterprises acknowledge that more needs to be done.

The questions become: how much more? What does “security” really mean in modern society? With complex threats on the rise and confidential data susceptible to seemingly countless points of vulnerability, will we (as a society) really be able to completely secure every “thing” connected to the internet? Are we getting our hopes up in thinking that we can fully protect those 46 billion or so connected industrial and enterprise devices from the type of breaches that result in financial losses and damaged reputations?

We sat down with Zebra’ Chief Security Officer Mike Zachman to get his perspective on these questions and more given the current “state of security.”

In this latest episode of Zebra’s Your Edge podcast, Mike offers some advice on what companies should be doing to reduce their security risks now and in the near future as more connected devices come online. He also shares exclusive insights into what Zebra is doing behind the scenes to help you and your front-line workers stay one step ahead of bad actors – those who are constantly searching for vulnerabilities in your mobility, IoT and even printing systems so that they, too, can benefit from the valuable intelligence you’re capturing at the edge.

Watch a sneak peek of the discussion now or just scroll below to listen to the full podcast episode:


“Securing Your Performance Edge”

Editor’s Note:

In case you missed it, Zebra just introduced a new PrintSecure solution to help you lock down one of the most overlooked points of vulnerability and ensure your printer remains a primary source of safety and security for your organization:

Healthcare, Warehouse and Distribution, Leadership, Retail, Energy and Utilities, Manufacturing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Transportation and Logistics, Inside Zebra Nation, Field Operations, Public Sector,
Mike Zachman
Mike Zachman

Mike Zachman is currently the Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Zebra, where he has global responsibility for its enterprise-wide product security, information security, corporate security and business continuity programs. Zachman is an experienced global leader with over 30 years of information security, risk management and information technology expertise.

Previously, Zachman was Chief information Security Officer (CISO) at Caterpillar, Ecolab, and Forsythe Technologies. Zachman holds an undergraduate degree in management information systems from Millikin University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Bradley University. He is a Certified Information Security Manager, Certified Internal Auditor and is Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT. He is an active volunteer with Junior Achievement and Easter Seals.

Zebra Developer Blog
Zebra Developer Blog

Are you a Zebra Developer? Find more technical discussions on our Developer Portal blog.

Zebra Story Hub
Zebra Story Hub

Looking for more expert insights? Visit the Zebra Story Hub for more interviews, news, and industry trend analysis.

Search the Blog
Search the Blog

Use the below link to search all of our blog posts.