OEMs often tout their “system approach” to design. In theory, this means that they look at the end application, and then design each aspect of the system to meet the needs of that application. Security is no different. The OEM must ensure that there are no holes in the security chain.
However, the OEM typically stops at the outside of the box. If you plug in a rogue device, you’re generally on your own. Or if there’s a problem upstream, like with the cloud provider, it’s hard to fault the OEM for that.
One vendor that’s taking a three-layer approach to security is SigmaDots, a company based in Israel that’s part of the Essence Group. I like the fact that they are concerned about security at all potential levels: the system, the network, and the device. These are generally the areas that need securing in an industrial IoT (IIoT) environment; many users often have system access.
At the system level, they offer system monitoring, device visibility, permission management, and data privacy. As far as the network level goes, distributed MQTT, network privacy, encryption, and DDOS resilience are all features that are included. Finally, at the device level, you’ll find a dynamic firewall, a device health check, and device authentication.
When you’re connecting the different levels, it seems to make sense to stick with one vendor rather than try to integrate two or three disparate parts. When the hacker comes looking for a vulnerability, there shouldn’t be any weak points whether you’re looking at physical security or cyber security. Both types of security are vulnerable in an IIoT system that could be spread across multiple geographies.
As featured in Embedded Computing