Embedded System Security

Embedded System Security, an introduction

The technological world of today runs on a hidden technology called as Embedded Systems. Embedded systems are the name given to the chips within our mobile phones, modems and set-top boxes. These chips are the opposite of the normal chips that are deployed in our personal computers like laptops and desktops. Our laptops and desktops have different components for running the hardware and software. In contrast, Embedded systems are pre-programmed with the software to run the device. This technology is used in devices which need real time operations, low operational costs, low battery life, are exposed to extreme handling conditions and weather conditions and which depend on remote data access to function normally.

Securing such embedded systems become a major hurdle. Since the devices which use this technology need to continuously access data remotely, they are exposed to a variety of attacks. Malware attacks are the most common threats faced by these devices.

In order to secure embedded devices, the below forms of security are deployed.

  • Data transfer in an encrypted format.
  • Securing the Read only memory of the embedded system.
  • Creation of a secure digital signature.
  • Creation of Trusted Certificates
  • Creation of encrypted keys to send and accept data.

Embedded systems offer the technological world of today, an alternative method for personal computing. However, manufacturers and users of such devices have to pay equal importance to the security of devices which use this technology.

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