Embedded security

In the embedded industry, security has become the main concern. A report by Bain & Company, Inc (Cybersecurity Is the Key to Unlocking Demand in the Internet of Things, 2018) concludes that although the Internet of Things continues to grow at a fast pace, the main barrier hindering the adoption of IoT devices are concerns with security.

There are good reasons for these concerns. We have all seen the headlines, whether it is bots infecting home networks or hackers taking remote control of cars. In fact, any weakness in the hardware or software of a connected product can, and probably will, be exploited to either hack the product or steal the IP and create counterfeit copies. However as unfair as it seems, the reality is that system compromises are a fact of life, and even minor mistakes can lead to major consequences.

A report by ABI Research (IoT Security - from Design to Life Cycle Management, 2018) claims that only 4 percent of IoT devices are secure today. That means that a staggering 96 percent of shipped IoT products can be tampered with, hacked or cloned. The embedded industry needs to do better. And, we actually have a good grip on how this can be done. The best way to achieve robust security is with a Root of Trust, a security primitive capable of performing services such as authentication and attestation by providing a trusted computing base that holds private keys, product certificates, and secure boot functionality. The starting point is in the device, the hardware itself, and new secure devices are currently being developed and released at a fast pace. In addition, companies will need the right software to leverage the security features of the hardware. Also in this area there are new solutions coming. The future for a more secure IoT is actually starting to look very bright.