Traditional IT security isn’t protecting embedded open source systems in IoT and IIoT deployments

Here at Timesys, we’ve been noticing some concerning trends when it comes to open source embedded system security and the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) and other intelligent devices. We’ve been hard at work developing a solution that can help ease your burden of carefully developing, monitoring, and maintaining security measures on your devices.

More and more IoT and IIoT products are being built with open source embedded software — which we think is great. But because of the growing number of developers turning to open source components for their products, security processes can’t keep up with the rate at which open source devices are being deployed. Traditional IT security has been built with secure perimeters and trusted environments, and has fewer intelligent devices and smaller attack surfaces. But those parameters have begun to change. And with more products to target, the number of security threats will only increase as well.

At the same time, the time-to-market pressures that lead you to release software quickly can result in timelines that don’t allow you to adequately plan for security concerns your product will face once it’s deployed. Have you considered how to incorporate secure boot and encryption into your design? Do you have a plan for patching flaws that are discovered in the future? For many, the answer is no — which means there are millions of unguarded, unpatched systems out there, very much at risk of the tens of thousands of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) discovered each year.

Even conscientious developers who try their best to address these concerns inevitably encounter a number of pain points as they build their products. You might face difficulties when trying to balance the performance needs of your device with security measures that can ultimately impact this performance. You might struggle to make your product comply with strict information security requirements like NIST, SCADA, or HIPAA. You might be unsure how to deploy remote updates to IoT devices spread around the world. You might even become overwhelmed by the immense storm of vulnerabilities that requires constant monitoring to ensure your product won’t fall prey to an attack.

“Timesys was an early advocate of improving the security of devices built using open source components. We chose to partner with Timesys in the development of our new portfolio of medical devices to ensure that they stay secure throughout their lifecycle.” …

Our Comprehensive Solution

Developers already have so much to worry about when bringing their products to the world: time, resources, customer needs and satisfaction. That’s why we’re so excited to introduce Timesys Product Protection solutions, our new offering that addresses these pressing security concerns.

Timesys Product Protection Solutions allow developers to do two things: “Secure by Design” and “Stay Secure.” Together, we can help you adopt best practices that will enable you to reduce time, cost, and frustration, and help you keep all your products secure.

Our “Secure by Design” offering focuses on optimizing security and functionality in the initial design process. Through device hardening, you can decrease the attack surface of your product. We’ll help you minimize performance trade-offs and achieve that lean footprint and lower power consumption you need, even while meeting strict security requirements. And by integrating security into the design of your product from the onset, maintaining your device’s  security posture throughout its lifetime will be a lot easier.

After a device’s release to market, our “Stay Secure’ offering prioritizes monitoring and patching vulnerabilities to maintain device security over time. To cut through the vulnerability storm and streamline security maintenance, our monitoring and patching service helps you keep track of new CVEs that impact your device, which makes managing IoT updates at scale much easier. In addition, it provides you with links to the fixes and allows you to selectively apply them.

… “Our customers globally face strict information security requirements combined with a heightened threat environment when deploying these devices within their enterprise. Our secure design methodology, partnership with Timesys, and operational policies allow our customers to be confident in choosing and deploying these devices in their healthcare practice.”
– Roshy J. Francis, Chief Technology Officer of Diagnostic Cardiology for GE Healthcare

The security challenges embedded software developers are facing today when designing IoT and other intelligent devices are cause for concern. But you don’t have to combat these challenges alone. With our comprehensive offering of products and services and more than 20 years of experience in embedded development, we can help! Contact us to learn more.

Theresa Kisha is director of marketing at Timesys. She received her BS in Business Administration/Marketing from Duquesne University.

About Timesys

Timesys has extensive experience with embedded system development and lifecycle management. Timesys has been instrumental in working with global leader semiconductor manufacturers with smart, quick and quality solutions for highly complex systems with accelerated product innovation and multiple product variants.

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