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Tech Distributor Steps Up to the IoT Security Plate

The Avnet-designed Infineon TPM V1.2 Peripheral Module brings Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security capabilities for platform integrity, remote attestation, and cryptographic services often required by IIoT applications.

The cyber-attack that brought down sites like Twitter, Netflix, and CNN on October 21 is raising awareness of just how vulnerable today’s interconnected networks can be when subjected to the work of hackers. The problem was traced back to a malicious Mirai botnet that hit Dyn, a firm that controls much of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) infrastructure.

According to Dyn’s Scott Hilton, the company came under attack by two large and complex Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against its Managed DNS infrastructure. “These attacks were successfully mitigated by Dyn’s Engineering and Operations teams,” Hilton writes in Dyn Analysis Summary Of Friday October 21 Attack, “but not before significant impact was felt by our customers and their end users.”

Developing Solutions

With IoT expected to greatly impact the way all businesses, governments, and consumers interact with the physical world—and with DDoS and other attacks continuing to make headlines—the focus on IoT-related security is growing exponentially, and for good reason. In total, Business Insider forecasts that there will be 34 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, up from 10 billion in 2015.

IoT devices will account for 24 billion, while traditional computing devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, smart watches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion. In total, nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years, Business Insider estimates.

AES-TPM-Module-IIOTkit
The Avnet-designed Infineon TPM V1.2 Peripheral Module brings Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security capabilities for platform integrity, remote attestation, and cryptographic services often required by IIoT applications.

One distributor is stepping up to the plate and working to enhance its products’ security capabilities. In November, Avnet Inc. of Phoenix, Ariz., introduced an add-on module and reference design for its MicroZed Industrial IoT Kit. The Avnet-designed Infineon TPM V1.2 Peripheral Module brings Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security capabilities for platform integrity, remote attestation, and cryptographic services often required by IIoT applications.  

In a press release, the global technology distributor stated that the Infineon TPM add-on module, along with the downloadable reference design, enables measured boot functionality for the Avnet MicroZed SOM. The system also supports additional use cases such as device identity, secure storage, secure communications, and secure firmware upgrade.

“In working with Xilinx and Infineon, Avnet has provided our design customers with an improved security capability for our solutions based on the Xilinx Zynq architecture,” says Ron Wright, technical marketing manager, Avnet Electronics Marketing. “With this low-cost Pmod, designers can easily explore a range of security options often required for factory automation, smart cities, smart grid, and healthcare applications.”

More to Come?

The nature of IoT solutions, how they are deployed, and the types of data they generate and consume are giving rise to new security and privacy implications that organizations must begin to address, according to Gartner. This is a rapidly escalating risk to the organization, bringing complexity unfamiliar to most IT and business leaders.

As IoT continues to mature and come to the forefront for both consumer and industrial applications, expect to see more companies taking the necessary steps to protect users from hackers and other threats. “The IoT has enormous potential to collect continuous data about our environment,” says Ted Friedman, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “The integrity of this data will be important in making personal and business decisions, from medical diagnoses to environmental protection, from commands to modify actions of machinery to identification and authorization of physical access.”

 

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