With 300+ vulnerabilities being reported weekly in the US National Vulnerability Database (NVD), it is more challenging than ever to maintain the security of open source and third-party software used in embedded system products. One common approach to tackle the problem is to adopt a risk-based vulnerability management strategy in which vulnerabilities that pose the highest risk to your organization are remediated first. This blog outlines how to establish such an process as part of your software development lifecycle while keeping the maintenance cost and risk of exposure low.
This is a summary of a blog post published in full on NXP.com.
Connecting and being connected makes us vulnerable to hackers. With the number of IoT devices forecasted to reach 20.4 billion by 2020, the need for product security becomes even more pressing.
As discussed in last week’s posting, central to the device maintenance process and keeping devices secure after they’ve been deployed is the ongoing monitoring and managing of CVEs that affect your product components. Therefore, it’s essential to have a clear view of relevant CVEs because there are many moving parts that need to be managed.
Adam Boone: Along those lines, you mentioned monitoring patches and software upgrades as one of the moving parts to be managed in a security maintenance program. What’s the challenge there?
Akshay Bhat: Patch management alone is always challenging, especially if you have a large number of open source components. You need to evaluate when to apply a patch, how the patch affects other components, what testing needs to be conducted, whether a patched component can be backported to earlier versions, and so on.
Timesys’ Director of Engineering, Akshay Bhat, presented a session on Open Source Security at the Embedded Linux Conference North America 2019 in August. For this two-part Q&A interview, our VP of Marketing Adam Boone asked Akshay to share his views on the challenges and best practices for maintaining security in Open Source Embedded System products.
Adam Boone: Why should product developers and engineering managers be familiar with CVEs and make an effort to monitor them?
Akshay Bhat: I think everyone recognizes it is important to bring products to market that are secure and that stay secure throughout their deployment lifecycles.
Too often, it seems the first notification of a software vulnerability comes from an affected customer or the publicity surrounding a high-profile data breach. Then follows the mad scramble to mitigate the vulnerability, notify customers, update products in the field and so on.
This reactive approach to vulnerability management for your embedded system products simply doesn’t fly in today’s heightened vulnerability environment.
Every week, more than 300 new vulnerabilities affecting software systems are disclosed by security reporting services such as the Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures (CVE) database operated by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
These vulnerabilities run the gamut of low risk security concerns to critical issues. Some vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to take control of a company’s IT systems, gain access to sensitive information, even modify or otherwise compromise critical company operational processes and data.
Constant vigilance is the key to bringing truly secure products to market.
Constant vigilance is what you get with our new real-time security monitoring and management service, Timesys Vigiles.
We named the new service after the famed city watchmen of ancient Rome. Like them, Vigiles is constantly watching, scanning for threats, and pinpointing the security risks that need to be managed.
Poor security of Internet of Things has led the US Federal Government to (again) consider legislation to force makers of IoT devices to improve security.
And the proposed bill comes on the heels of industry concern that IoT attacks against the US power grid are increasingly common and threaten public safety.
This week a bipartisan group of four US senators introduced the “Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019.” An earlier version of an IoT security bill, introduced in 2017, went basically nowhere.
Security is becoming a critical differentiator in embedded system products across a wide range of applications.
And the tools are now available to ensure products can be more secure without sacrificing time-to-market and, in some cases, even accelerating development.
Those are key takeaways from this year’s Embedded World Exhibition and Conference that took place in Germany last week.
The world of embedded systems has gone through a massive transformation in recent years.
The rise of smart devices, the Internet of Things, mobile computing platforms, connected devices and a range of other innovations have driven embedded system deployments through the roof. Industry observers estimate IoT deployments alone account for 23 billion device deployments in 2018, up from 15 million in 2015. And that number is projected to triple in the next six years.
The explosion in demand has had a major impact on the makers of embedded systems and the products containing them.