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Embedded World turns spotlight to security

Posted: 29 Feb 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel  Cypress  VIA Technologies  Embedded World 

My first impulse on learning about this new theme for Embedded World was to cry "Bravo!" When I was running the IoT World website, I quickly learned two things about IoT security. One was that it was going to be a critically important element for the success of the connected embedded systems. That Internet connection opens the door for a host of malicious activities that most embedded developers have never had to face.

The other thing I learned about security was that far too many companies were not paying the least attention (or paying anything else, for that matter) to the need for security. I heard a lot of "why would someone hack into my little system" and "management won't pay for it because customers won't like the added cost." The other thing I heard a lot of was minimisation of the risks involved and denial of the need for security beyond, perhaps, a firewall.

Embedded World

Figure 2: Embedded security and safety takes centre stage in the recent Embedded World. (NurnbergMesse)

This new theme to Embedded World shows that, here at least, the embedded community is waking up to the realities of network security as they apply to embedded systems. If it's connected to the network, it's going to need to be made secure. Further, that security needs to be as tough as possible, and it needs to be designed for continual upgrade and improvement. If not, the device will be hacked and the potential consequences are enormous.

I'm hoping that this theme will make an impression on both developers and their corporate management. Developers need to quickly come up to speed on security practices. Management needs to accurately assess the danger of poor security and commit to providing the time and funding needed for developers to create secure connected embedded systems. It may still take some time for the message to get through, but at least it looks like Embedded World is trying to make it loud and clear.

- Richard Quinnell

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