Internet of Things is a concept that is both promising and ubiquitous; however, a major drawback to the widespread acceptance is the lack of security. The fact that billions of devices are constantly connected, sharing information and data makes the framework vulnerable to attack and eventual loss or compromise of sensitive data.
However, with a new, advanced, low power microcontroller, industrial IoT applications are about to enjoy a facelift. You’re definitely excited about learning more about these awesome microcontrollers that can improve security in your IoT devices, right? But first, let’s see what microcontrollers are.
What are Microcontrollers?
Microcontrollers are small self-contained computers with a RAM, ROM, a CPU, and other peripherals that facilitate the execution of simple tasks. They are not like conventional computers as they are only dedicated to executing a single function. Usually, they serve as part of another device; for example, they are normally embedded in electronics, phones, personal computers, etc.
Why Should We Use Microcontrollers to Secure IoT Devices?
They are Simple in Their Operation
A microcontroller is advantageous because it doesn’t require an operating system to function. They have an easy interface with external devices like motors and sensors, meaning that they can be set up easily. All that you need to do is to turn on the device, upload the required firmware, and then see them at work.
The Simple Nature Makes It Secure
Remember that the main reason the IoT network is vulnerable is that of the plethora of possible attack points? Well, the simple nature of microcontrollers ensures that there are few ways by which an attack an emerge. The only potential vulnerable points are the open ports and the available protocols. With no OS serving as intermediary, the probability of an attack is extremely low.
For many traditional applications, the microcontroller is able to deliver just the right amount of processing power and the functionality required. This makes it an unarguable economic choice.
Existing Solutions for Secure Cloud Devices
The Renesas Synergy S1JA Microcontroller
This microcontroller is based on a 48 MHz Arm Cortex-M23 core, with a 256kb code flash and 32kb static RAM. It has integrated security functions that connect to the cloud without using peripheral components. This is possible, thanks to the AES cryptography accelerator integrated into the system. Furthermore, there are several other exciting features such as the capacitive-touch-enable pins which quicken the development of HMIs with touch interfaces.
Thanks to Microsoft, there’s a new ecosystem for secure IoT devices and this ecosystem is one that is called the Azure Sphere. This system comprises the hardware, software, and the cloud service. First, let’s start with the hardware. It is the microcontroller containing the Microsoft Pluton. You already know that this component is Microsoft-certified.
The software part of this ecosystem is the Linux-based OS, offering increased capability compared to the real-time OS, especially for IoT devices with low power consumption. Finally, the cloud is ideally a turnkey solution, capable of executing functions which entail updating, failure reporting, and authentication.
NanoLock Security and Winbond
NanoLock Security and Winbond came together to provide the first solution to secure and carry out the management of IoT devices. This was presented at the electronica 2018 in Messe Munich. This product provides lightweight embedded systems, advanced security, a system to manage flash memory, and also offers control from the cloud.
This End-to-end solution is to ensure that IoT devices like microcontrollers, cameras, routers, etc. can be competently managed and secured from the cloud. There’s an OS/CPU agnostic solution which ensures the flash-to-cloud integrity while enforcing security during daily operations.
Conclusion- Look at the Big Picture
Know that your IoT product is an entire system and not just a component or a device. This means that in the process of planning the design and the implementation, you should consider both the hardware and the software infrastructure.
First, begin with how it connects to the internet (this is the basic requirement to be called an IoT product). And then, you need to show how the data is managed, developed, and hosted. In the course of transferring data, be sure to keep security a priority.
In a bid to allow you save cost, time, and energy, you can contact us with your requests and we will help you figure out the complications of connectivity and security while you focus solely on your product.