The Dawn of a Paradigm Shift in Embedded Device Software Security
By Marc Brown
The number of connected embedded and mobile devices is increasing exponentially, predicted to be in excess of 50 billion by 2020. The lion’s share of this growth is expected to come from traditional market segments where there is an increasing push to transform sensing equipment to more autonomous embedded control, real-time telemetry, and proactive diagnostics. We all know website hacking is nothing new, but just imagine having your public water utility meter, your automobile safety functions, our public transportation traffic sensors, or even the national power grid being hacked by organized criminals or nation states. This tsunami of connectivity and more intelligent control is creating a huge increase in security vulnerabilities that can impact financial profitability, public services and safety, and national defense.
Many of today’s most advanced embedded control systems are based on a collection of standalone components – embedded operating systems, virtualization technologies, communication stacks, middleware, and application code. These standalone products, and the companies that create them, lack the integrated security support required in today’s highly connected world, offering overall solutions that are only as safe as the weakest link.
McAfee and Wind River have formed a strategic partnership to develop and support comprehensive, purpose-built security solutions specifically designed for these next-gen embedded devices.