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Build it fast, and build it secure: see the latest at Embedded World

Build it fast, and build it secure: see the latest at Embedded World

The world of embedded systems has gone through a massive transformation in recent years.

The rise of smart devices, the Internet of Things, mobile computing platforms, connected devices and a range of other innovations have driven embedded system deployments through the roof. Industry observers estimate IoT deployments alone account for 23 billion device deployments in 2018, up from 15 million in 2015. And that number is projected to triple in the next six years.

The explosion in demand has had a major impact on the makers of embedded systems and the products containing them.

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Tracking and Maintaining the Security of Embedded Systems

Tracking and Maintaining the Security of Embedded Systems

The deployment modes and functionality of embedded systems have evolved rapidly in recent years, thanks to widespread connectivity of Internet of Things devices and associated systems.

Yet the common security practices for most embedded systems remain largely unchanged from the days when they were isolated, air-gapped systems.

The shortfall in embedded system security is leading to sharply escalating risk of cyberbreaches. The trend is leading industry experts to advise embedded system developers to make security a top priority in design practices and product development.

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The Risks of a ‘Stale, Abandoned’ Product

The Risks of a ‘Stale, Abandoned’ Product

Some product management decisions are hard. Product managers are constantly weighing trade-offs among time-to-market, functionality, competitive differentiation, development costs and other factors.

But some product decisions seem like no-brainers. Would you bring an IT product to market that puts customers at significantly increased risk of security breaches, privacy violations, potentially massive fines, and lawsuits?

“Of course not. That would be lunacy,” you can imagine the typical product manager as saying. Yet companies are shipping products every day that introduce this sort of risk into customer environments.

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Can products be developed quickly and be secure at the same time?

Can products be developed quickly and be secure at the same time?

It’s perhaps the longest standing myth in IT:

You can deploy IT quickly, or you can deploy it securely. But you can’t do both.

This supposed trade-off touches virtually every aspect of IT, from product development, to market release, to customer deployment, production product maintenance, and all associated stages.

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The new focus on ‘Security by Design’

The new focus on ‘Security by Design’

As the flood of vulnerabilities continues to rise, attention is turning to how embedded system products can be made more secure.

Almost 20 years ago, the concept of security by design was a popular new trend in software development. The focus on baking in security at product design stages was driven by the massive rise in on-line applications, e-commerce features and other Internet-connected, web-enabled software.

As these systems and applications were deployed and became widespread, the expanding attack surface made them attractive targets for attackers looking to steal user information and financial data. So naturally the industry’s response was to rethink and reinvent security in the new threat environment. That meant defining best practices for creating more secure applications at the design stage.

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Vulnerabilities keep piling up … time to make security a product differentiator?

Vulnerabilities keep piling up … time to make security a product differentiator?

Is your product the “Volvo” of embedded system products? For decades, carmaker Volvo has been known as a maker of safe vehicles.

While all makes of cars are generally much safer than in decades past, and some observers rank some other brands’ models higher in safety, there is no dispute that Volvo has made safety a cornerstone of its brand. Like other car brands have focused on qualities like luxury, reliability or the driving experience, Volvo has emphasized safety as a chief value of its products.

Perhaps soon we will see a Volvo-style strategy emerging from the makers of embedded system devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, with the volume of security vulnerabilities reaching an all-time high, there’s a prime opportunity for a device maker to become known market-wide as a “security first” product developer whose customers are more protected from cyberattack.

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Another record year in vulnerabilities as the CVE storm continues

Another record year in vulnerabilities as the CVE storm continues

The vulnerability storm continues unabated.

The count of security vulnerabilities has reached another annual record, with six weeks remaining in the calendar year. This week the number of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) hit 14,722, eclipsing last year’s total of 14,714, according to the tracking totals at CVE Details.

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Will more embedded device makers fix security before massive fines force them to do it?

Will more embedded device makers fix security before massive fines force them to do it?

Security of smart devices is getting worse, says a penetration testing expert, who blames suppliers of connected devices that ignore security and privacy issue notifications.

Is the answer more security regulations and laws, or is it better product strategy?

Computer Weekly reported this week on security expert Ken Munro’s comments in a conference presentation in which he blasted many embedded system suppliers for not seeming to care about securing their products.

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Patch management for better embedded system security

Patch management for better embedded system security

Patch management remains a major headache for enterprises, according to researchers and security experts. With reported security vulnerabilities now climbing into the tens of thousands each year, busy IT departments struggle to identify and analyze the vulnerabilities that apply to their systems, and to manage all the patching needed to mitigate risks.

And the Internet of Things (IoT) poses even greater challenges for patch management.

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