IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions

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IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions

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IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions

Guillaume Crinon Headshot
diagram of smartphone and connected devices

Introduction

“IoT security” is a popular topic these days, and there is not a single week without a conference featuring a paper or a keynote about security, without an announcement from hardware or software companies introducing new solutions and without an article in the specialized press. Avnet Silica would certainly not miss such an opportunity to participate in the discussion.

This paper aims at defining the real issues behind “IoT security”, the real challenges for our customers both from hardware and embedded / server software aspects and of course solutions as we envision them for the next 6 to 8 years, until our world becomes all IPv6 and 6LoWPAN.

We could start like many others, explaining how connected devices are at risk, how hackers can ruin business-models and how much everyone should look into cryptography. We will not.

Surprisingly or not, the main problem our customers face is the cost of personalizing the devices they manufacture with unique IDs, MAC addresses, keys and certificates, either on the production line or during field deployment. Surprisingly or not, technical solutions for personalization very often provide an additional toolset enabling the highest level of security at no additional cost.

We will demonstrate how the security architecture of the Internet of Things should leverage the security architecture of the Internet as we have been building it for more than 20 years. We will explain the challenges of properly provisioning and securing low-power non IPv6 connected sensors and devices.

In the past 15 years, enterprise Information Technology (IT) architects have successfully upgraded their security schemes from an all-wired world based on desktop computers to all-wireless-mobile laptop and smartphone fleets without compromising on security and even improving it. A similar evolution is happening now: beyond laptops and smartphones, industries are looking to connect many devices, machines and objects to application servers through private and public networks, as shown here.

What needs to be solved

The cost of personalizing connected devices

Regardless of the application and the security scheme associated with it, there is always a point in the life of a device connecting to another or to a distant server when someone needs to program unique identifiers and secret keys into a memory.

This process is called personalization. This is a hurdle, often a burden and always a cost in the manufacturing process or for the end-user.

Let us take a straight-forward example: adding a WiFi printer to a home network. At some point, you will need to associate manually the printer with the router so that they can share the same pass-key. Whether you do it manually, via NFC, or with a USB cable, the printer needs to know the secret key. In this case, the burden is not supported by the printer manufacturer but by you, the end-user.

The same thing applies in the business world but on a larger scale. One example from building automation is an alarm-system. This comprises a central unit and several peripherals communicating locally via an RF protocol, and may be sold individually or bundled. Someone, whether the manufacturer, the installer, or the end-user in DIY mode needs to “pair” or “associate” the peripherals with the central unit, and then register the central unit with the global surveillance service.

In all these cases, someone has to bear the cost of going through these personalization and pairing processes, either the manufacturer of the device, the service provider or the end-user himself at the expense of a true out-of-the-box experience.

The complexity of these processes often makes them a weakness in the security of such networks. How often do you renew your home WiFi pass-key? Probably never because it is too much of a hassle. How often are secret AES keys renewed in many systems? Not often and possibly never for exactly the same reason.

Networking and security: the importance of “end-to-end”

Link and network security are being addressed by every single communication and networking technology at different levels of the protocol stacks such as IPsec for IP, WPA for 802.11, 802.15.4, Bluetooth, and so on. However they should not be mistaken for end-to-end application security.

Indeed, having a WPA-secured WiFi connection to a local router is definitely not sufficient to “http” privately into a distant server, bearing in mind that most local network keys are hardly ever renewed for the reason explained above.

As illustrated below, it is fairly common that the data generated by a sensor or a machine will be conveyed through many different networks of different sorts belonging to a variety of service providers before reaching the targeted application server:

Each leg is only responsible for its own security, and is unaware of the legs behind or in front of it. As a consequence, the data has to be decrypted and re-encrypted within each gateway, from one leg to the next. It is often said that the security level of a whole system is defined by its weakest link. Therefore the need to trust several connectivity providers as well as the gateway manufacturers interconnecting them is clearly a weakness.

If the data are carried over IP all the way, there is an option of “tunneling” from the sensor to the application server. However this is the only possibility that comes close to “end-to-end” security in this scheme.

The solution is an extra level of end-to-end device-to-server security taking care of:

  • Device authentication to server
  • Server authentication to device
  • Secure session key establishment
  • Data integrity
  • Data confidentiality if needed

Solutions

End-to-end security in the IP world

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
It is now more than 20 years since Netscape released in 1995 the initial public version of SSL (numbered 2.0 as 1.0 was never released because of flaws).

The idea was simple: how could Internet clients communicate securely and privately end-to-end with applicative remote servers delivering email, banking, e-commerce services through the public Internet regardless of their HW/SW platform and OS (Operating System)?

“Securely and privately end-to-end” meant the client being able to authenticate the server, not exposing passwords and confidential information to any third party including Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and Telecom Operators. It also had to keep eavesdroppers and hackers at bay.

The easiest answer to this problem was to use the same unique secret key on both sides of the communication channel.

The main problem then became: how to distribute this unique secret key without exposing it?

Using an alternate channel could be a solution: After all, banks send us Visa/Mastercard PIN codes in a separate mail, and some websites use our email account to send us a provisional password when registering for a new service or requesting a password reset. Nevertheless, this was no lightning-fast process and certainly not practical for renewing session keys on a regular basis in a seamless and user-transparent way.

The real breakthrough came from the use of asymmetric cryptography.

This technology involved a fundamental transaction invented 20 years previously between 1973 and 1977 by asymmetric cryptography pioneers Clifford Cocks, Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman. Theyhad devised methods for computing a unique shared secret key between two entities communicating over a public channel without exposing any secret information. Simply brilliant! Any acronym bearing RSA (Rivest, Shamir, Adleman) or DH (Diffie-Hellman) refers to these mathematicians. Since Cocks was working for the British secret services, his work and name were kept secret until recently, but he nonetheless deserves the recognition.

Asymmetric cryptography (RSA, ECC) being powerful but requiring much more processing power to encrypt and decrypt data compared with symmetric algorithms (DES, AES), it was therefore not very efficient to use it to encrypt and decrypt every single packet exchanged over the internet. For this reason, its use has been mostly restricted to the exchange and computation of symmetric session keys used to encrypt and decrypt the streams of data exchanged over the Internet.

Back in 1995, it was therefore possible for a client to securely authenticate a server and compute a shared secret session key used to exchange data:

Need for certificates

As is illustrated here, servers do not send their public key as is; they send certificates embedding their public key.

Why not sending a public key directly?

Because the client needs to be able to differentiate the genuine web site it wants to connect to from a fake one. How to differentiate between www.mybank.com and www.my-bank.com if the latter one wants to impersonate the real bank in order to capture account credentials?

Both will have a public key, but the client needs to check which one corresponds to www.mybank.com

In order to do this, the world relies on Certificate Authorities (CA) who are trusted independent corporations issuing digital certificates that certify the ownership of a public key by the entity named in the certificate.

Let us assume that www.mybank.com wants to issue a public key. Mybank will first send it to a Certificate Authority (CA) along with its credentials and proof of its identity. The CA will check that www.mybank.com is the owner of the public key and issues a digital certificate (complying with the X.509 standard) comprising [www.mybank.com ‘s public key, the name of mybank.com and its other credentials, validity dates] signed with CA’s private key.

This digital certificate will then be sent back to www.mybank.com who will share it with web clients requesting a connection.

Upon reception, the client will check the signature of the certificate using the CA public key (which is usually preloaded into the web-browser). In this way thus authenticate the certificate and therefore trust that the public key inside the certificate belongs to www.mybank.com which is the website it is asking to connect to.

In spite of many ongoing reflections on ways to improve the system, this architecture is the one currently securing the Internet:

TLS (Transport Layer Security)

After a few flaws and weaknesses discovered in SSL2.0 and SSL3.0, SSL has evolved to TLS1.x based on improved algorithms for signing, authenticating and encrypting which will not be detailed here.

In particular Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) often replaces RSA, as it provides much shorter keys and less calculation complexity along with a higher level of security.

Embedded sensors and IPv6

Whereas the tremendous growth in the expected number of Internet-connected devices has led to migrate the addressing space from 32-bit in IPv4 (4.3B unique addresses) to 128-bit in IPv6 (3.4x1038 unique addresses!), the billions of sensors and devices being deployed are not yet natively IP-compliant.

Indeed, most of these devices are likely to communicate wirelessly and in many cases to run on batteries without maintenance for 5 to 15 years depending on the use cases.

Although a few IP-friendly wireless technologies such as 802.11 and cellular 3G/4G have been around for years they still fail the battery life test.

Instead, battery-friendly wireless technologies tend to favor small payloads, extended sleep time, asynchronous behavior and asymmetric communication, very often connecting to gateways with LAN (Local Area Network) connectivity such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, WmBUS, Z-Wave, Enocean, KNX, ioHomeControl, 802.15.4 or more recently without gateways with LPWAN (Low-Power Wide Area Network) technologies such as SIGFOX, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT to name a few.

Although recent implementations of 6LoWPAN (low-power wireless IPv6) have emerged such as Thread and Bluetooth 4.2, it is expected that a vast quantity of sensors and devices that will be deployed under the IoT banner will actually NOT be IP-friendly until 2025 at least for reasons of backward compatibility and legacy with existing products.

This means that these billions of devices, from smart meters to industrial sensors will not be able to use the Internet Protocol standard to establish a TLS session with the server they will be connecting with.

End-to-end security outside the IPv6 world

Is this the end of our story? Certainly not!

We are looking for a way to implement this green layer of end-to-end security that sits on top of the other security legs:

We have at least one leg which is not IP, probably low power, low data rate acting as a bottleneck on the whole path (remember if we are IP all the way, go to the previous paragraph, problem solved).

There is a simple answer: if genuine IP TLS is too heavy with too much overhead for this bottleneck, let us tailor a derivative of TLS bearing:

  • Cryptography algorithms with shorter keys (ECC) rather than longer ones (RSA)
  • Smaller certificates
  • Extended session key validity
  • A simple capability for a sensor to check a server certificate off-line if needed
  • A secure and cheap way to personalize and store certificates together with session keys in the sensor or device
  • Certificate Authority services enabling the issuance and checking of custom certificates

This TLS derivative should perform the same functions as the real TLS:

  • Mutual authentication
  • Very simple and automated provisioning of a sensor/device into a distant application
  • Mechanisms for revocation of a sensor/device from a distant application
  • Secure AES session key derivation and secure exchange
  • yielding message integrity and encryption

Secure elements

Although many MCUs boast low-power cryptographic engines, they miss the real problems:

  • Someone still needs to personalize them at some point, and this has a cost
  • They are not secure and secret keys can be read from their memory or computed from dynamic supply currents or even from their electro-magnetic emissions.

This is the reason why Visa and SIM card chips are not standard Cortex-M3 hardware.

This is the reason why such things as secure elements are useful.

Secure elements are tiny components connecting as peripherals to host MCUs/MPUs and featuring:

  • Personalized certificates
  • Secure hosting of secret keys
  • Handling of cryptography primitives

In short, they are part of the solution together with secure personalization logistics.

Bottom line: personalizing a connected device
Our initial problem was lowering the cost and the burden of personalizing and provisioning connected devices, sensors, machines to local or remote servers. By regrouping the technologies mentioned above, we now have a full set of solutions:

  • TLS or TLS-like stacks and APIs capable of mutual authentication, distribution and renewal of session keys
  • Secure elements able to host certificates and handle TLS primitive functions
  • Secure logistics in order to personalize secure elements before device manufacturing eliminating the need to personalize the device itself
  • Trusted Certificate Authority services for issuing and checking custom certificates during the 15-year life of the connected product

Gateway

A gateway typically bridges between a Local Area Network (LAN) and the application server through the Internet (IP network). It therefore needs to securely authenticate to the server and securely authenticate the server it is connecting with.

Since the link between the gateway and the server is IP-based, this can be handled with a TLS protocol over any IP connection, whether WiFi, Ethernet or 3G/4G.

A recommended implementation will be our Avnet-Silica-personalized secure element as a companion chip to the main processor running our UbiquiOS stack in the gateway seamlessly handling the TLS with the server running our APIs and performing the task of provisioning the gateway with HTTPS or MQTTS.

IP or 6LoWPAN sensor

As seen above, sensors are often battery-operated and need to operate light stacks. 6LoWPAN is the low-power version of IPv6, typically used by the Thread™ networking protocol. In this case, it will be possible to establish a TLS directly between the sensor and the server as explained earlier.

A recommended implementation will be our Avnet-Silica-personalized secure element as a companion chip to the sensor microcontroller running our UbiquiOS stack seamlessly handling the TLS through a provisioned gateway with the server running our APIs and performing the task of provisioning the sensor securely with HTTPS or MQTTS.

Non IP sensor

If the sensor is neither IP nor 6LoWPAN-based, it will be necessary to establish a TLS derivative tailored to the local networking technology directly between the sensor and the server.

A recommended implementation will be our Avnet-Silica personalized secure element as a companion chip to the sensor microcontroller running our UbiquiOS stack seamlessly handling Avnet Silica’s proposed TLS derivative through a provisioned gateway with the server running our APIs and performing the task of provisioning the sensor with the best balance of security and power consumption in accordance with the mechanisms in use with HTTPS and MQTTS.

Conclusion

Avnet and its partners enable customers to benefit from their depth and breadth of expertise in addressing personalization and security schemes for IoT projects.

The company represents several secure element manufacturers, including Infineon, ST Micro, NXP, Maxim, Microchip/Atmel and Morpho/Trusted Objects.

Avnet is also currently developing its own stacks and APIs. These will be able to handle TLS derivatives and easy provisioning schemes running on various radio links, together with UbiquiOS Technology and Avnet Services.

Avnet is also establishing certification authority services with a trusted partner for customers who do not wish to invest in a full public-key infrastructure themselves.

About Author

Guillaume Crinon Headshot
Guillaume Crinon

Guillaume Crinon is the Global IoT Strategy Manager at Avnet, responsible for security and connectiv...

IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions

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IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions

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Hardware Studio Live took the expertise of independent hardware creators to the CES floor, sharing not just what cool new tech is out there, but the nuts and bolts of how it gets made. Here’s what four makers had to say...
Avnet booth at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show
3 Hardware Takeaways from CES 2018
January 18, 2018
At times, it feels like software dominates the headlines in technology. But if this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is any indication, a huge hardware evolution is coming.
Woman using tablet and working in data center
The importance of end-to-end security schemes for IoT deployments
By Guillaume Crinon   -   January 18, 2018
IoT machine and device security relies on trusted identities.
blue digital screen
LEDs: The Eyes and Ears of the Internet of Things
November 8, 2017
It may seem to be a stretch to assert that LEDs play a truly important role in the future of the Internet of Things. After all, by themselves, they’re just lights. However, with sensors tucked neatly inside and a bit of intelligence...
Graphic depicting kitchen appliances talking to each other
Alarm bells ring for unsecured connected devices
October 11, 2017
A hot topic at the annual Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas this summer was the increasing risk companies are facing with the Internet of Things (IoT).
senior couple having tea with green IoT icons overlay
Worried about your elderly parent living alone at home?
September 10, 2017
New technologies can help the elderly to continue leading independent lives. Sensor-based systems using complex analytical methods are able to detect emergencies and call for help when necessary.
person looking at smartphone with IoT icons overlay
Sigfox enters market
August 28, 2017
The goal of Sigfox is to build a wireless wide area network that is completely independent from the existing wireless lattice network, to provide low speed connections for low power sensors. As of the end of 2017, it has covered a total area of 3.8 m
2D image of blue and orange city buildings with hovering IoT icons
Looking to develop NB-IoT technology?
August 28, 2017
Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) is a technology standard developed by 3GPP to work in licensed bands. It holds a key position in the evolution of cellular mobile communication technologies (between LTE and 5G), and has therefore been gaining followers among
conceptual image of tablet with connected IoT icons on top
The Spring for the Industrial Internet of Things
August 28, 2017
If we combine traditional industries (including manufacture, exploitation of natural resources, construction, public utilities, etc.) with the transportation and health service sectors, about 46 percent of the global economy, or US$32.3 trillion in g
smart phone with bluetooth logo on the screen and IoT icons overlay
Bluetooth 5.0 and Business: So, you think you've see the bigger picture?
August 28, 2017
Bluetooth 5.0 provides a solution to the issue by extending the data length to 255 bytes, thereby allowing more possibilities in commercial applications.
man pointing to bing map on smart phone
Redefining HMI in the intelligent age
August 28, 2017
Looking at how common smart technologies have become, it is hard to imagine that they have only came into existence in recent times. Impressive as it may seem, what we are witnessing is only the tip of the iceberg. Technology giants around the world
smart phone controlling smart TV
Say goodbye to “reaching out for money” in the near future
August 15, 2017
In the past, we’ve always had to remember to bring the four things we should have on us when leaving the house: ID, cell phone, keys, and wallet. Nowadays, cell phones have become the only, absolute necessity, because the wallet has been replaced b
hand holding digital image representaiton of biometrics device
An overview of the top six commercialized biometric authentication technologies
August 8, 2017
“The best of times” refers to the accelerating development of the biometric authentication market. Research data indicates that the global biometrics market is slated to grow from US$15 billion in 2016 to US$30.5 billion in 2021, a compound annua
Graphic illustrating connectivity clouds hovering above a city
Harnessing the power of IoT: Microsoft’s unique approach
June 11, 2017
Little could this now-famous British serial entrepreneur have known in 1999 that the name he chose to define his approach for using RFID in P&G’s supply chain would top Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report.
Depiction of a city connected via wireless connectivity
How Retailers are Using Location Awareness Technology to Track Buyers’ Habits
April 25, 2017
Location tracking has been in use for a lot longer than one may expect. For example, military Special Forces and intelligence organizations have been using trackers and tracers for decades.
energy harvesting concept with green batteries sprouting from the ground
Powering the Internet of Things via Energy Harvesting
April 25, 2017
The push is on to add Internet capability to everything—often called the Internet of Things (IoT)—and the challenge for design engineers is to figure out how to power each of these IoT nodes.
Clothes hanging on racks in a store
The Internet of Slacks? IoT and Smart Clothing
April 25, 2017
When you think of wearable technology you probably think about those fitness trackers that you wear on your wrist. What you probably don’t think about is your shirt, your pants or even your socks.
IoT icons with a world map background
Insurance and the Internet of Things
April 25, 2017
It’s one of those things you only think about when you need it. Insurance. It’s our safety net for so many important parts of out lives and can sometimes be the key to a quick recovery – both physically and financially.
illustration of clouds with data storage symbols
The Internet of Things Pushes the Possibilities Offered by Big Data
April 24, 2017
The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses things as tangible as a light switch, things as ethereal as a cloud, and all things in-between.
man pointing to the word insurance
Risky Business: IoT’s Impact on Insurance
April 23, 2017
Risky Business: IoT’s Impact on Insurance By Steve Gereb August 25, 2016. I enjoy reading about how the data collected by Intelligent Systems will help people live better lives.
woman looking at tablet on airplane
The Internet of Things at Cruising Altitude: Airlines and the IoT
April 20, 2017
What are your thoughts when you step onto an airplane? “Where’s my seat?” “Is this a Wi-Fi flight?” “I hope I make my connection.”
man holding tablet with chart image
Study: Digital Intelligence Driving Massive Business Transformation
April 14, 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely regarded as the next revolution in technology. Cisco predicts that by 2020, there will be 50 billion things connected to the Internet, generating revenues of $19 trillion.
man holding out his hand with icon overlay
The Internet of Everything is Here…or Is It?
April 11, 2017
The next great age of technology is the Internet of Things (IoT), if, that is, you believe everything you read on the Internet.
Yellow rainboots and gardening tools on flowerbed
The Internet of Things Has Thumbs – And They’re Green
April 10, 2017
It’s no surprise that technology, data and intelligent systems are transforming industrial agriculture.
graphic spelling out internet of things
Microsoft and GE Partnership to Make Industrial IoT More Accessible to Businesses
April 4, 2017
General Electric (GE) and Microsoft Corporation recently announced the beginning of a new alliance. The technology collaboration will make available GE’s Predix platform for Industrial Internet on the Microsoft Azure cloud for industrial businesses
Graphic of a person using IoT for several applications
Going Up? Elevators, Windows 10 And The Internet Of Things
March 30, 2017
People are excited about the Internet of Things for a variety of reasons. It’s already made us more connected. And as more and more things are connected, a number of industries are poised to become faster, more efficient and more reliable.
IoT concept -- smart phone with IoT icons
OCF and Thread Group Alliance Boosts Windows 10 and its Smart Home Initiative
March 29, 2017
Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and Thread Group, recently collaborated to fire up the automated ‘smart home’ functionalities on the Windows 10 operating system.
Woman looking at her wearable fitness tracker
From vision to reality: a look at Pebble’s launch into the wearables market
March 26, 2017
When Eric Migicovsky started designing smartwatches six years ago, there were few players in the wearables space and a lot of skeptics.
beer taps in a row
Internet of Beer? Avnet Helps iKeg ‘Tap’ Into the Internet of Things
March 26, 2017
You might think that running out of beer is only a major concern if you are the “refreshment coordinator” for a college fraternity, but it turns out that beer inventory management is actually a pretty big deal for bar and restaurant owners these
Depiction of IoT for various modes of transportation
How the IoT will Change the Supply Chain?
March 24, 2017
The potential applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technology across any industry or sector are vast. Existing and future IoT applications promise new ways of value creation and revenue streams for businesses in a digital world.
cyber security chip on circuit board
IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge
By Alex Iuorio   -   March 24, 2017
Cybersecurity and the irony of what happened during U.S. President Barack Obama's January 12, 2015 speech to the Federal Trade Commission on the growing threat, during which he declared: “If we’re’re going to be connected, we’ve got to be pro
Robotic machinery building a car in a factory
Ensuring robust connectivity in the industrial Internet of Things
March 23, 2017
The industrial Internet of Things promises to bring greater visibility and control of manufacturing processes.
the numbers 2016 on a dial lock
New Year’s Resolution: Let’s Get Security Right in 2016
March 22, 2017
BBC Business News recently reported that cybersecurity will be the main issue of global business in 2016. Another top trend this year? IoT and "the development of the hyper-connected world."
Pigeons perched on the side of a building
London’s Pigeon Population Flocks to IoT
March 21, 2017
In one of the strangest, most innovative uses of Intelligent Systems we’ve seen so far, DigitasLbi Creative Director Pierre Dequesnoy came up with the idea of using pigeons equipped with sensor-loaded backpacks to analyze pollution in the UK’s ca
cloud servers
Securing LED Networks in the Age of the Internet of Things
March 20, 2017
Recently, in Nuevo Arenal, a little sleepy village in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, a dozen criminals cut the lights to the town’s main street during the quiet 3 a.m. hour, and then injured...
3D cityscape with IoT icons
Invest in the Future with IoT
March 20, 2017
You and I have known for a long time that connected devices are becoming pervasive throughout society, and it seems like the investment world is finally catching up.
America flag with WIFI icon
It’s Time For The Government And The Internet Of Things
March 18, 2017
The Internet of Things or IoT has become quite the well-known term in the past year or two. What started out as a radical concept – connecting everything to everything else and to the Internet!
low power concept alphabetical chart
Internet of Things: Low Power, Low Cost Connected Devices Fuel Demand for Microco
March 17, 2017
At the heart of the devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) are a variety of ultra low power microcontrollers (MCUs), sensor networks, systems-on-chip (SoC) and communications protocols such as ZigBee. These underlying technologies operate
Front view of a man pointing his index finger and a gear icon
One-Click Manufacturing: Could It Really Be That Easy?
March 16, 2017
One click manufacturing (OCM) is a concept that arose from the 3D printing world: design a 3D model of a part ...
Graphic of cloud computing hovering over a tablet
Finding the best wireless option for your IoT design
March 16, 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) relies on a facile communications framework able to move data easily between embedded "things" and systems located at higher levels of the IoT hierarchy.
digital image of the continents
The Edge to Enterprise - Avnet and IBM Partner to Deliver IoT Offering
March 13, 2017
This white paper examines the Internet of Things market with a lens on the complexity of the vendor ecosystem and how partnerships are enabling holistic solutions to come to market.
nurse checking person wearing health monitoring system on wrist
Internet of Things: Designing Sensor-Based Devices with Coin Cell Batteries
March 13, 2017
A popular vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that it will comprise billions of sensors gathering information about their local environment and transmitting that data back to servers in the cloud. Such data will be compiled, analyzed and shared
conceptual image of hand with legs and city background
Smart Cities: What To Look For In 2016 And Beyond
March 11, 2017
In a recent article in Government Technology, IDC research director Ruthbea Yesner Clarke discusses three trends emerging around the growing smart cities movement
hand holding smart phone with IoT icons emanating from the phone
Indispensable Building Blocks of Mobile IoT Devices
March 10, 2017
The concept of IoT connected devices connotes many different ideas. Some think of data centers full of servers, network switches and storage arrays aggregating untold gigabytes of random data. Others identify with Ethernet-enabled devices in their pl
bee polinating a puple flower field
What’s All The Buzz About? Bees And Smart Map Technology
March 8, 2017
You’ve heard about the problems with the bees, right? Their population numbers are dwindling and that’s not good news.
person wearing smart watch, working on laptop and  holding smart phone
Will HaLow open the door for more intelligent systems?
March 7, 2017
Reporting on the recent announcement of the “long-awaited Wi-Fi HaLow standard for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah wireless networking technology,” Jim Hunter of Tech Crunch explains why this new standard may pave the way for more connected
conceptual graphic of IoT icons around a blue globe
An Introduction to IoT Components
March 7, 2017
From locomotives and jet engines to baby monitors and home appliance controls, new applications are challenging the imaginations of designers — both in startup companies and within giant corporations.
Graphic depicting the Internet of Things
For industry 4.0, reliability builds on robust connections
March 6, 2017
Looking to relieve increasing product complexity and cost pressures, manufacturers are moving toward the next phase of industrial automation envisioned in Industry 4.0.
business man standing on small rowboat in the ocean
What To Do With All That Data
March 6, 2017
Just as important as the hardware and the data it collects in an Intelligent System are the tools we need to process and analyze information. Otherwise, an Intelligent System does nothing to serve our purposes.
Hacker trying to do a cyber attack via laptop with Unauthroised Access showing on the screen
DefAero Mitigating Cyber Attacks MCU Hardware Accelerators Boost 2CP
March 3, 2017
Over the years, cyber attacks on financial institutions and news organizations have garnered the lion's share of attention...
Binary code
Driving data with unintentional new uses: Internet of Things
March 3, 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a natural evolution of the things we already make today.
Graphic depicting a human head with IOT written of to the side
Cognitive computing and IBM Watson IoT: unlocking the power of information
March 3, 2017
Businesses, academic institutions, cities, and other enterprises may have diverse objectives and missions but all have two things in common: Data, lots of it.
Graphic depicting cyber security
Circuit Protection: Helping Drive Reliability and Longer Life
March 3, 2017
The primary concerns of engineers designing mobile devices connected to the IoT remain device functionality, performance and feature set.
A person using their cell phone to connect to several mobile apps
Avnet: your key enabler for efficient IoT product development
March 3, 2017
There’s no shortage of hype when it comes to IoT! Fashion designers, futurists, gadget geeks, salespeople...
Depiction of a digitally connected city
Antennas for RF Designs in the IoT
March 3, 2017
The physical connection for many IoT nodes leverages legacy wired networks found in homes, offices, schools, factories and other areas. As we become mobile, wireless physical connections are becoming the norm.
Graphic depicting Wi-Fi connectivity
A “Canned” Module/IC Solution Simplifies Wireless Implementation, but Potential Design-in Issues Remain
March 2, 2017
Incorporating wireless connectivity into a product is now a standard design requirement for Wi-Fi, IoT, and other applications.
A city at dusk
10 companies and municipalities that are harnessing the Internet of Things to run smarter cities
March 2, 2017
Many of the devices we interact with today are enabled by computers and connected to the Internet. Much of the popular interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) focuses on consumer electronics, with everything from smart refrigerators to thermostats,
A graphic reading
10 things every intelligent systems needs
March 1, 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way businesses use technology. This web of interconnected devices and machines gathers information from gas-oil-water exploration sensors to sensors in corn fields, to medical devices and train control

IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions

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