A one-size-fits-all approach won’t secure the IoT

August 2019 News, Cyber Security

Securing the Internet of Things (IoT) is something which cannot be done with a one-size-fits-all approach, and every kind of connected object must be assessed individually, the co-chair of Trusted Computing Group’s (TCG) Embedded Systems Work Group said.

Speaking on the second day of Embedded Technologies Expo and Conference 2019, Steve Hanna highlighted how the growing trend for greater connectivity puts everyday objects at risk of exploitation and makes mission critical systems in businesses and governments more vulnerable to attacks.

And while securing the IoT is often referred to as a singular movement, Hanna emphasised that every device had to be handled according to its individual needs, warning that there would be no single method that could be universally applied to safeguard devices.

“When you consider other security systems, for example a lock, what you would use for a front door is very different to what would be used for a bank or a government building because the scale of an attack would be much greater and more complex in the case of the latter,” he said. “The same is true for computers and embedded systems; when we think about security, we have to think about different levels that correspond to the level of risk.”

Hanna illustrated his point by comparing a baby monitor with a chemical plant – both of which are likely to become connected as standard in the near-future. For the latter, he said, the impact of an attack could be as serious as an explosion which would ultimately endanger human life.

“While it is important to secure things like baby monitors, for example, to avoid the devices being used to eavesdrop on conversations, there is a price point that needs to be met as well – no one is going to spend thousands of dollars on a baby monitor and for the manufacturers, that means the security solution needs to be less expensive,” continued Hanna. “In the case of a chemical plant, the risk is much greater, the level of attack is likely to be more sophisticated and a serious amount of money could have been invested in carrying it out. As a result, the security measures need to be much more stringent.”

He went on to explain that the customised security approach required by the Internet of Things can be easily achieved using technologies that are available today. TCG’s security standards are all based on the concept of Trusted Computing where a Root of Trust forms the foundation of the device and meets the specific requirements of the device or deployment.

“TCG’s wide variety of security options provide the building blocks to create secure systems,” said Hanna. “In the case of a chemical plant, industrial-grade discrete TPM hardware can be built in not just into the plant’s firewall but also into the control system. This will enable these systems to be monitored in real-time and for even sophisticated attacks to be identified and prevented. For devices which are less high-risk, TPM firmware can be created which has the same set of commands but is less rigorously secured and therefore more cost-effective. Finally, for very tiny devices that can’t afford TPM firmware, DICE offers a good alternative.”

The organization offers a number of resources for developers and designers at develop.trustedcomputinggroup.org




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

TAPA: The role of an effective treasury function in business risk management
June 2019, Technews Publishing , News
Neil Le Roux, the Founder of Diligent Advisors will speak at the TAPA SA (Transported Asset Protection Association) annual conference on 26 July 2019.

Read more...
iLegal 2019: Critical IT aspects of Augmented Surveillance
August 2019, Technews Publishing , News
iLegal is the surveillance industry’s premier one-day conference hosted jointly by Hi-Tech Security Solutions and Dr Craig Donald. iLegal 2019 will be held on 12 September 2019 at The Rosebank Crowne ...

Read more...
iLegal 2019: Putting a face on surveillance services
August 2019, Technews Publishing , News, Conferences & Events
iLegal 2019 will be held on 12 September 2019 at The Rosebank Crowne Plaza in Johannesburg. iLegal is the surveillance industry’s premier one-day conference hosted jointly by Hi-Tech Security Solutions and Dr Craig Donald.

Read more...
Residential Estate Security Conference 2019: Making AI work for you
August 2019, Technews Publishing , News, Conferences & Events
Gerhard Furter will deliver the keynote at the Residential Estate Security Conference 2019, providing a brief introduction into what AI really is and its application in estates.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: The difference between potential and skills
August 2019, Technews Publishing , News
This issue of Hi-Tech Security Solutions includes our annual Local Manufacturing feature and it’s great to know that local security manufacturers are still going strong, even if the general manufacturing ...

Read more...
A customised solution for backup power
August 2019, Specialised Battery Systems , News, Integrated Solutions
Specialised Battery Systems designed and implemented a bespoke solution for Stallion Security Electronics to deploy at almost any site.

Read more...
Patient critical – healthcare’s cybersecurity pulse
August 2019, Wolfpack Information Risk , News, Cyber Security, Healthcare (Industry)
The healthcare industry has become one of the leading cybersecurity attack vectors worldwide for several reasons.

Read more...
Is security broken?
August 2019 , News
New VMware research reveals how South African businesses continue to try to battle sophisticated security threats in a digital age, with the same old tools.

Read more...
Milestone partners prove their skills
August 2019, Milestone Systems , News, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Training & Education
Within the span of one week in mid-May, the Milestone Learning & Performance group celebrated important benchmarks: 200 000 course registrations and tutorial views, and 10 000 certifications.

Read more...
ONVIF Hosts 20th Developers’ Plugfest
August 2019 , News, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
ONVIF, the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, hosted its twentieth ONVIF Developers’ Plugfest in early June in Tokyo.

Read more...