What is Embedded Security?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing as more and more devices are connected to the Internet. However, these devices can create vulnerabilities within an organization’s network if not properly protected. IoT devices with embedded security are better protected against a wide range of potential cybersecurity threats.

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What is Embedded Security?

Why You Need Embedded Security

Embedded security is designed to protect the embedded components and software within an IoT device. Implementing IoT security at this level can be difficult but provides a number of benefits.

Common Embedded System Security Challenges

IoT device manufacturers face several challenges when attempting to secure their products against cybersecurity threats. Some of these challenges include:

 

  • Third-Party Components: IoT device manufacturers commonly use third-party components as part of their devices. These components create a potential supply chain vulnerability since they could be modified to include malware or contain exploitable vulnerabilities. Without embedded security, it may be difficult or impossible to detect and protect against these low-level threats.
  • Lack of Standardization: The IoT industry has few current regulations and standards, especially in the area of cybersecurity. This makes it more difficult to develop secure devices as manufacturers struggle to be certain of the security of the components that they use and systems that they interact with. Additionally, the lack of “best practices” makes it harder to determine if a manufacturer is properly securing its devices.
  • Unmanaged and Unpatched Devices: IoT devices are often deployed with minimal monitoring and maintenance. This means that vulnerabilities on the device may be left unpatched, leaving it vulnerable to exploitation. An embedded security solution that simplifies device security monitoring and updates can help to address this issue.
  • Insecure Network Connectivity: As 5G becomes more popular, an increasing number of IoT devices will be directly connected to mobile networks. With direct-to-Internet connectivity, these devices lack the protection of an organization’s internal security stack. As a result, on-device security solutions are essential to protecting these devices against attack.

Embedded Systems Security Benefits

An embedded security solution provides protection for IoT devices at the firmware level. Implementing this level of security within their devices can provide a number of benefits to IoT manufacturers, such as:

 

  • Customer Confidence: Deploying an embedded security solution provides an IoT device manufacturer with a clear answer to customers’ security-related questions. This clarity and transparency builds customer confidence in the manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices, which are an increasingly important component of the buying decision process.
  • Competitive Differentiation: IoT devices are largely unregulated with regard to cybersecurity, so many device manufacturers do not have a security focus. Implementing embedded security within IoT devices provides manufacturers with a method to clearly differentiate themselves from less-secure competitors.
  • Compliance with Upcoming Laws: While IoT security laws are currently uncommon, they exist in some jurisdictions and more will come in the future. Embedded security in IoT devices provides a foundation and a head start for an IoT device manufacturer’s future regulatory compliance efforts.
  • Increased Market Access: Some industries, like the government and military, have strict security standards for the devices permitted to connect to their networks and process their data. Implementing embedded security in their devices may enable IoT manufacturers to meet these more stringent security requirements and compete in these markets.
  • Device Security Management: The ways in which IoT devices are deployed and used means that they can be difficult to effectively monitor and manage. A consistent, embedded software security solution in these devices can provide access to a cloud-based platform for simplified security management.
  • Integrated Security: IoT devices’ resource constraints make it difficult to deploy traditional cybersecurity solutions on them and to integrate them into an organization’s security deployment. Firmware-level security in embedded devices that enables simplified device monitoring and management can help to fix this issue.

Embedded Device Security with Check Point

Check Point recommends a three step process for IoT device security. The first step in this process is assessing the cybersecurity risks associated with the device in question. Check Point offers a free IoT security assessment to enable IoT manufacturers to identify potential vulnerabilities within their products.

 

The second stage in the IoT protection process is hardening, which involves deploying an embedded security solution. Check Point’s IoT Protect Nano Agent provides security designed for IoT devices with a number of benefits, including:

 

  • Runtime Protection
  • Protection Against Zero-Day Attacks
  • No Source Code Required
  • Complete Firmware Coverage
  • Painless Installation
  • Minimal Performance Impacts
  • Check Point Infinity NEXT Integration

 

Finally, IoT devices should be controlled. These devices should have security policies defined and enforced that help to protect them against cybersecurity threats and the risks of insecure network access.

 

Start this process by taking the free IoT security assessment. You’re also welcome to  request an IoT security demo to learn how to implement embedded security to better protect your IoT devices.

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