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Security Challenges in Embedded System Design for IoT Devices

A successful IoT product relies heavily on a well-designed hardware system. The manufacturers encounter numerous obstacles during the hardware design process of these devices to guarantee that the embedded IoT product achieves the desired function, consumes low power, and is secure. In this article, the security challenges in the hardware design of embedded IoT devices will be discussed.

As embedded systems move toward networked applications, security concerns are becoming more frequent. Even for senior developers, ensuring security for embedded IoT systems may be challenging and time-consuming. Each of the IoT hardware products has to operate securely in a real-time embedded environment. Developers frequently have trouble maintaining the security of embedded elements because these components operate in resource-constrained and physically insecure situations. Developers must design a system that is robust and secure by using cryptographic techniques and security protocols.

Architects of a vast and growing number of embedded systems need to provide a variety of security solutions to meet the security requirements. You can see some of these requirements in the figure below. 

The embedded system design process faces important challenges, which are briefly outlined below, as a result of these requirements. 

  • Power, processing, and storage issues: Security consumes power. It can be a big challenge for developers to use low-power embedded devices. The computing power available in the IoT is limited and may be insufficient for processing security algorithms. Storage limitations are barriers to deploying security features. Therefore, requirements such as battery life, processing unit, and storage capacity should be considered when choosing the system to be used for the implementation of the security process on the embedded IoT product.
  • It is necessary to execute multiple security protocols and standards.
  • Tamper resistance, which refers to the desire to keep the security requirements even if the device falls into the hands of malicious parties, is a challenging process for developers in embedded system design.
  • Assurance Gap: Secure systems must continue to function reliably in spite of attacks from cyber enemies that seek out undesirable failure modes. There will be increasing amounts of potential failure modes to consider as systems get more complicated. As embedded system complexity increases, it becomes more difficult for developers to make sure they are not overlooking a serious vulnerability.
  • It can be chosen to provide higher levels of security using sophisticated measures in spite of increased system costs, design effort, and design duration. A developer should balance the security needs of an embedded system against the cost of the necessary security measures.

Finally, it should be noted that the biggest security challenge in embedded system design for IoT devices is that there is no “right” solution. Security should be determined by the application itself, and it differs from application to application.

 

 

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