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Protecting Embedded Devices to Help Secure the Internet of Things

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February 04, 2014

Protecting Embedded Devices to Help Secure the Internet of Things

By Rachel Ramsey, Content Director

Whether you’re calling it the Internet of Hackable Things or the Insecurity of Things, the message is clear that people are aware of the security risks and hackable opportunities the rise of the connected devices fueling the growth of the Internet of Things.

VDC Research predicts the market for security-specific solutions will rise from 2012 to 2016 at a CAGR of 26 percent. The analyst firm’s “Security & The Internet of Things” program explores security and the connected world, providing insights into all aspects of IoT system development.

“No individual solution can fully protect embedded devices from determined hackers using multiple attack vectors,” said Steve Hoffenberg, director of M2M Embedded Software & Tools at VDC Research, in a statement. “Device-makers are learning that they need to protect themselves and their customers with comprehensive security solutions.” 

These solutions include anti-malware technology, whitelisting/blacklisting, access control, data encryption, user authentication, and real-time threat analysis.

The research found that only 36 percent of embedded engineers surveyed in 2012 expressed confidence in meeting their security requirements. Hopefully that number increases as security becomes one of the key concerns about the IoT. VDC explains that the priorities for engineers have shifted over the years from real-time capabilities and availability of development tools and source code to reliability, stability and security. As more devices are equipped with “smart” functionality, security becomes a higher priority.

“With connectivity comes risk – primarily due to the receiving, storage, and communication of large volumes of sensitive data – and engineers have recognized that unprotected devices are vulnerable to viruses, attacks, and other types of security breaches. In light of this, engineers have sought platforms that provide built-in security protection, such as support for IPv6, IPsec, and FIPS 140-2. As the topic of security continues to be elevated within engineers organizations, we expect its position on this list will rise accordingly,” VDC said in a report.

VDC advises three steps for engineers developing next-generation connected devices: Address security concerns, extend and promote integrations with adjacent technologies and anticipate changing requirements. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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