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A guide to securing the Internet of Things

Posted: 06 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet of Things? IoT? Security IP? threat modeling? network?

These procedures may seem to add unnecessary formalism to the design process but do not really take as much effort as it seems. They are also likely to prevent higher costs that will be incurred down the road if the device has vulnerabilities.

Future-proof your products
Engineers need to assume their products will be in use for at least ten years and offer methods of renewability. To prevent vulnerable devices from remaining vulnerable forever, engineers must implement renewability mechanisms that allow code and assets on the device to be replaced after the device is fielded.

Account for exploits that result in physical harm
IoT deployments, particularly in industrial devices, are not like vulnerable computer networks. No one is ever physically harmed when a network is attacked.

Industrial IoT is a different beast, in that many of these new devices actually affect our physical realm and our safety. For example, a compromised IoT door lock could allow an intruder into a facility. A compromised IoT water pump could allow a malicious actor to flood a property, and a compromised IoT hospital respirator could result in death.

IoT engineers need to be mindful when carrying out their threat modeling practices and properly account for potential exploits that may have a greater impact than traditional computer hacks. That means more resources need to be directed towards preventing potential IoT exploits.

About the author
Hagai Bar-El is chief technology officer of Sansa Security and holds several security patents.

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