How to Safeguard IoT Devices Against Cyber Attack

The enormous scope of leading-edge IoT technology is becoming automotive, industrial automation, smart home automation, wearable devices, and other applications, with scores of vendors leaping into this virtual gold rush. The IoT’s global proliferation is exponential, projected to skyrocket beyond 20.4 billion connected devices by 2020, per a 2017 Gartner report. Each of those billions of new IoT devices represents a potential weak link to gain backdoor access to larger, more critical areas of cyberspace, beyond simple Internet access, compromising hospital, and government data networks, even potentially crippling major utility grids via a cyber attack. [1] But this ultra-rapid expansion begs one critical question: is the IoT growing faster than anyone’s ability to adequately regulate or police it, specifically, defend users against hackers? One ominous example of the potential threats hackers pose to security has already been the 2016 Mirai botnet attack, where vulnerabilities in firmware used by 300,000 networked devices, including home cameras, DVRs, and other smart products, were exploited in a coordinated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which snarled Internet traffic across the United States and Europe. [2] Defending IoT Devices The primary defense against hacking is for manufacturers to incorporate encrypted communications protocols into their products, preventing hackers from gaining remote access. Manufacturers should devote additional resources to safeguard their products from common vulnerabilities, such as unprotected TCP/UDP or serial ports, accessible password prompts, and endpoints or central network hubs or web servers. More importantly, manufacturers must provide a rapid response to future vulnerabilities by developing and deploying automatic downloads of firmware/software patches and updates as often as possible. Any product that’s not updatable is already obsolete before it leaves the factory. Without patches or updates, the only alternative to combat a major cyber threat is a costly product recall. We’ve observed that many manufacturers actually consider IoT security something of an afterthought, focusing on other product features such as low power usage, memory capacity, or sourcing the most cost-competitive materials. In this increasingly hazardous world, we consider security to be at the forefront of IoT product development. Our engineering and software development teams work alongside our OEM clients to continually ensure their IoT products remain secure and reliable. Backed by 40 Years of Expertise We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions. Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly. To learn more about this topic, please contact us.