Kontron Announces Comprehensive IoT Security Platform as News of IoT Breaches Grows

By Christopher Mohr February 25, 2016

Kontron recently announced a new hardware and software security platform for Internet of Things (IoT) environments. It uses multi-layer encryption and real-time analytics to secure all points across the network and detect rogue devices as they attempt to connect.

This announcement comes at an opportune time, given that the IoT is growing at a rate that outpaces efforts to secure it even adequately. A report commissioned by AT&T, for example, found that in the past two years, vulnerability scans increased in IoT devices by 458 percent!

One of the more alarming stories of IoT vulnerabilities happened back in July. Wired senior writer Andy Greenberg volunteered to test drive a Jeep Cherokee while researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek hacked into Uconnect, an Internet-accessible system available in recent models of Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

Miller and Valasek were able to remotely control the Cherokee’s air conditioning, radio, windshield wipers, and transmission, obscuring Greenberg’s view of the road and disabling the vehicle in the process. Later hacking attempts caused the brakes to be disabled and the vehicle ended up in a ditch.

IBM’s X-Force, a team of ethical hackers, recently hacked into the building automation system (BAS) of a so-called smart building occupied by a business with multiple offices across the U.S. The vulnerabilities that the team exploited would have given them access to all the BAS units of the company and its branch offices.

As a result of their testing, the team came up with a fundamental list of security procedures, like avoiding storage of passwords in clear text form, which BAS operators should follow to reduce the possibility of future breaches.

In light of these IoT horror stories, the typical dismissive responses might be to avoid driving cars with Uconnect and that the worst a hacker can do by compromising a BAS is to crank up the A/C a little. Such ‘head-in-the-sand’ attitudes won’t solve problems. If a hacker can compromise a BAS, it’s conceivable that they could access a company’s regular computer network and steal all kinds of valuable information.

If there is anything to be learned from Kontron’s announcement and these stories, it’s that the time to secure the IoT is now. The future is an exciting one for automated homes and self-driving vehicles, but these are still networked computing environments. They can be hacked just as easily as the server at the office can be when the effort to secure them is lax. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

Related Articles

DeviceTone and Tondo Light Up the IoT Edge

By: Special Guest    3/15/2018

Tondo, the first wireless DALI Master smart light relay and DeviceTone, a next-generation agile IoT edge technology from Cloud of Things are bringing …

Read More

That Sound You're Hearing is Cities Getting Smarter

By: Special Guest    3/15/2018

By harnessing data, we can make our cities more efficient and livable. Data from traffic patterns can help to ease autonomous cars through our streets…

Read More

Securing the Insecure: Security Challenges Posed by the Internet of Things

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

IoT brings several security challenges with far-reaching consequences. These challenges differ from those present in more conventional technology infr…

Read More

IoT Time Podcast S.3 Ep. 8 IIC

By: Ken Briodagh    3/14/2018

In this episode of IoT Time Podcast, Ken Briodagh sits down with Steve Hanna, Senior Principal, Infineon Technologies, and co-author of a new Industri…

Read More

How Mobility Will Transform Patient Care

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

Healthcare providers are turning to the Internet of Health Things (IoHT) and smart devices in effort to improve the patient experience, the delivery o…

Read More