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Security testing of embedded open source systems creates a stronger enterprise security posture

Security testing of embedded open source systems creates a stronger enterprise security posture

Researchers and the technology media are reporting that the average application now contains more open source software components than proprietary code. And the use of open source components in embedded systems such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices likewise is on the rise.

How is this trend affecting awareness of embedded system security and open source security best practices? If you bring embedded system products to market with open source components, how do these systems affect your customers’ security postures?

To evaluate these questions, it helps to explore how enterprises test and measure the security of IT systems.

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Security vulnerabilities and the Internet of Things

Security vulnerabilities and the Internet of Things

We’re on the verge of setting another annual record in the number of security vulnerabilities being reported. And more and more vulnerability exploits are targeting the Internet of Things.

Botnet exploits are going after IP cameras. Smart home technologies are being hacked. Even children’s toys are being hacked and used for covert surveillance. And in one bizarre case, hackers gained access to a casino’s systems through a smart thermometer in the lobby fish tank.

But these cases raise the question of what really is a vulnerability?

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Vulnerability management for Internet of Things and embedded systems

Vulnerability management for Internet of Things and embedded systems

The number of security vulnerabilities continues to skyrocket. After setting a record last year, the number of reported Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) is on pace to set yet another record this year.

In 2017, more than 14,000 CVEs were reported, affecting a vast range of devices, systems and applications. So far in 2018, more than 12,000 CVEs have been reported, and if that pace continues, we should move past last year’s record number in the next two months.

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Laying down the law on IoT security

Laying down the law on IoT security

IoT device security vaulted into the public consciousness in recent years. Media coverage of successful attacks against IoT devices and supporting systems, botnets powered by compromised devices, and a range of other security issues have raised public concern.

But now California is on the verge of enacting the first actual law in the US to mandate IoT device security.

Unfortunately, according to some in the industry, the bill now awaiting the governor’s signature will do little in its present form to improve the security of IoT, or the companies deploying it, or the people using it.

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Security at IoT scale

Security at IoT scale

It often helps to look at cybersecurity from the attacker’s point of view.

This approach, in fact, is the foundation of common techniques for penetration testing. That’s when “white hat” hackers will put a company’s IT systems through a range of attacks, looking for security vulnerability issues and defense gaps.

So when we consider Internet of Things device security and the defenses that protect an enterprise’s IoT deployments, it’s important to adopt the mindset of an attacker.

What’s an attacker looking for when they are prepping IoT attacks?

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‘Complexity is the enemy of security’ … especially in IoT

‘Complexity is the enemy of security’ … especially in IoT

There is an old saying in the IT security space, one that applies really across any type of security: Complexity is the enemy of security.

It’s hard to pin down exactly who coined this phrase. Among the earliest references to it are from IT security guru Bruce Schneier. And Schneier’s discussion of this principle is probably among the clearest: systems get harder to secure as they get more complex. And since our systems are getting more complex all the time, security is becoming more challenging.

Today’s poster child for the Complexity-Security inverse correlation is Internet of Things device security.

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IoT Security: Don’t Ship Product Without It

IoT Security: Don’t Ship Product Without It

Devices connected via IoT technology are spreading across multiple industries at unprecedented rates. But the benefits of enhanced connectivity are accompanied by increased security risks.

IoT technology is used in everything from healthcare devices, to transportation infrastructure, to industrial control systems supporting operationally critical processes.

According to Forbes, some 80 billion devices will be connected to the internet by the year 2025. In terms of customer convenience and effective performance, this trend could be game-changing for people who rely on technology to explore, work, and live.

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The FBI Warns of IoT Security Issues Once Again

The FBI Warns of IoT Security Issues Once Again

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning about Internet of Things device security issues, the latest in a continuing string of IoT attack and security vulnerability warnings from the US’s top law enforcement agency.

Attackers are using compromised IoT devices as proxies to mask various illicit activities, the FBI said, citing spamming, click-fraud, illegal trade, botnets for hire, and other crimes being committed using IoT devices.

The Bureau said IoT device vulnerabilities are being exploited by these attackers, naming routers, media streaming devices, Raspberry Pis, IP cameras, network attached storage (NAS) devices as among the types of products covered by the warning.

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Why is traditional IT security failing to protect the IoT?

Why is traditional IT security failing to protect the IoT?

The traditional IT security architecture has been through a mammoth, global stress test in recent years thanks to the environment of escalating attacks and huge data breaches.

But perhaps the biggest challenge of all to the traditional IT security architecture has been in the IT evolution driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Edge Computing and related innovations.

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Make your device’s security posture stronger

Make your device’s security posture stronger

If you make devices that support enterprise operational tasks, sensor data gathering, or a range of other enterprise processes, then your device’s security posture is a major concern for your customers.

But if you are not in the IT security industry, the security posture for your device may not even be something that is clearly defined in product requirements. Besides the obvious security-oriented features, such as encryption and authentication and compliance-mandated features, security requirements are often embedded in a host of other functions and processes that may be covered by your device requirements.

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