Top 5 Things to Consider While Developing a Secure Embedded IoT Product

Top 5 Things to Consider While Developing a Secure Embedded IoT Product

While internet-connected devices have changed our lives in countless ways, it is no secret that they need exceptional security to protect data and the device from compromise. When IoT products become successful, they are highly attractive to attackers and, thus, need appropriate security measures at every level. It requires a scalable building block approach and the integrity of connected devices. 

Some of the biggest IoT challenges include a lack of encryption, insecure communication, weak authentication or authorization, vulnerabilities in the firmware and software, and difficult patching and updating the devices.

Every day, the IoT attack surface expands as more devices become online—whether smartwatches, smart TVs, cars, homes, and more. Along with consumer goods, Embedded IoT products are also widely used in healthcare, industrial automation, supply chain operations, green agriculture, and even national defence. Connected devices are expected to increase by 300%, from 8.7 billion in 2020 to over 25 billion in 2030.

*ScienceDirect report 

If your company is developing an IoT product, do keep in mind these critical pointers for optimum security:

Learn End-to-end network visibility and security can help authenticate and classify IoT devices, thus building a risk profile.Segment Based on the risk profiles, companies can understand the IoT attack surface and segment devices into policy-driven groups.Protect Internal network segmentation and IoT grouping will enable monitoring, inspection, and policy enforcement as per the activity in the infrastructure.

Remember, attackers prey on negligence. Here are the top 5 considerations for a secure embedded IoT product:

1. Does your IoT development process focus on security?

Using the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) approach enables companies to systematically integrate security measures in every phase of product development. Right from the initial planning and architecture to implementation and transfer to manufacturing, the SDL framework facilitates the identification and mitigation of security risks, ensuring the integrity and resilience of IoT devices.

It’s also essential to ensure that the architecture fits your security requirements as architecture is one of the most challenging and expensive things to change later. Also, to prevent security from being patched later an ad-hoc basis, proper communication between teams is mandatory. Making security a first-class citizen during development is a good start for IoT products.

2. Do you have an IoT system to identify security threats?

Threat modelling helps identify critical assets within your product and discover potential threats to these assets while evaluating the possibility of the threat and determining the security requirements to overcome it. Threat modelling of the device and its use cases helps define security requirements to mitigate threats and protect the assets. It guides the development of the device architecture for the right-sized security requirements. Your device must be designed, manufactured, tested, and certified based on the threat model used to save costs and build trust from the ground up.

3. Do you employ digital transformation services focused on multiple technical proficiencies?

IoT specialists need to display proficiencies in embedded systems development, such as familiarity with programming languages, data communication protocols, and hardware platforms, to reduce the difficulty and time required for testing. The infrastructure required to build an IoT device is usually underestimated, and companies miss out on investing in the right resources. For example, some companies heavily focus on the software layer but forget that the hardware and networking layers are equally important. Integrating the hardware, software, and connectivity to build valuable features requires exceptional technical proficiencies for a secure IoT device.

4. Does the digital transformation implementation include a deep understanding of cybersecurity standards and protocols?

Physical and digital security considerations are essential for device development. Encryption standards, authentication mechanisms, and the latest firmware updates to safeguard data are essential, especially with the increasing regulations. Communication-related protocols and standards are designed to emphasize cybersecurity. For instance, Ascon (NIST) is the official standard for IoT encryption in the US that helps manufacturers to be more proactive about preventing vulnerabilities and cyberattacks rather than simply responding to them. DTLS secures wireless communications, so users know their messages aren’t intercepted or spied on – it is a protocol used across industrial and commercial spaces. Similarly, Z-Wave is a proprietary alternative to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and offers more security on low-level radio frequencies. 

5. Do you undergo an extensive testing capability?

Since IoT products are interconnected in nature, rigorous testing is critical. Since these products and their network interact with various platforms, services, and devices, functional testing, security testing, interoperability testing, and performance testing are all indispensable for IoT products. Implementing quality testing metrics to conduct and validate tests is essential before an IoT product is taken to the market. 

Device testing helps evaluate whether the software and hardware meet the quality standards and perform as expected. It also validates the security, performance, and functionality of the software and devices in the IoT system. It also ensures that every device in the system performs as expected, ensuring the entire IoT network works collaboratively and delivers the required results.

Security doesn’t just happen by chance. It must be designed from day one and maintained exceptionally until your IoT device is powered down for the last time. All security requirements need to be mapped out as per the entire lifecycle of the device so that it remains reliable and operational.

ARi Global Solutions offers IoT solutions to diverse industries to maximise efficiency, usability and security. By prioritizing these security considerations throughout our development lifecycle, we help you build trust with customers, protect your most critical data, and reduce the risk of cyber threats. We also help you go to market faster, withstand stringent regulatory requirements, and protect your business against costly recalls. 

Contact us to make the most of your IoT product in an increasingly interconnected world.