Raquel Ligero
Content Marketing and PR

27 January, 2017

Are the IoT devices as secure as they seem?

Look around you… How many objects do you see that are not connected to internet? Few of them, right? The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing very quickly and some studies affirm that near 2020 will be more than 40 billion of intelligent devices.

Thousands of million of things will “talk” with each others: televisions, fridges, cars, watches and jewelry, health monitors… Everything we can imagine, and more, will be smart, will be gifted with intelligence. This will mean (in fact, it is already meaning) an impact in the way we interact and see the world around us. Are you prepared to live what always has supposed to be the future: the machine revolution? At Accent Systems we are sure about it. Yes, yes and yes! But we are also conscious that there are some risks that have to take in mind.

Security, our priority

The one that concerns us today is the security in the connected devices we design, an essential part without which our product wouldn’t have the trust of our customers and the final user. Our CTO, Oriol Patau, explains that is very important that the information in the cloud sent by an IOT device, will be secure. “If somebody can kidnap the infrastructure or use the data that has been travelling without being encrypted, obviously we’ll have a problem with the system we’ve payed, and a third person will take advantage of it illicitly”.

The user needs to know that its information are not going to be violated and trust 100% in the IOT product. Without this confidence, the IOT are never going to achieve its maximum potential.

Be immersed in the Internet of Things means each aspect of our live is connected to internet through objects, and this imply all our personal information are collected in the net and the user cannot control them. Float in what’s called “cloud”, but do we know exactly where are and who controls these data?

In our company we consider that the security mechanisms and the data protection of an intelligent device should be part of it from its conception, and we give these elements the same importance we give to the technical aspects of the solution. “In all our projects, we analyze the rank of security we have to incorporate”, says Patau. “We foresee from simple manipulations to those which could be done by somebody with high level of knowledge. We like to do a test where we verify that not even the engineers that have worked in the development of the project could hack the device.

For us, the security and privacy are a priority, and we guarantee each IOT solution we develop is secure and have the appropriate defense mechanism.

3 elements to develop a secure connected device

When we want to develop a secure IOT device, we have to take care of 3 essential aspects. They are not always indispensable, but they depend on the kind of product we are creating.

Bidirectional authentication

The IOT devices establish communication between a server and a connected object. To guarantee the security of this communication, we have to assure both systems are valid, that is to verify that the identity of the other is reliable. Patau gives us an example: “It’s similar to what happens in spy movies, where it’s necessary a password to verify the identity of the other person. The IOT devices must do the same”.

Encryption

Another key to develop a secure IOT device: the product should be able to send encrypted data, that is, with an indecipherable code for those who don’t have the knowledge and technology to read it.

Tamper evidence

This security systems is used to control when a device has been internally manipulated without permission. The intrusion is registered and sent to who manages the device. “For example”, explains Patau, “an intelligent meter box would have a sensor to detect possible manipulations that would send this information to the electric company”.

Our projects, a guarantee for the user

In Accent Systems, we work to connect the world through intelligent devices and the Internet of Things is our umbrella. After a decade of expertise developing solutions for third parties, today we can be proud that all the project we start, all the services we offer and all the products we create, have the will to guarantee security and privacy to the final user.

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