FOUNDRIES.IO INSIGHTS

Keeping Edge devices secure from IoT hackers

By Trina Watt | July 15, 2019

Edge devices are now at the frontline of security attacks on manufacturing and enterprise organisations. Hackers are extorting more money out of a wider range of companies and corporations, with the latest estimates being that attacks have increased by 500% in the last year.

We have seen this month alone multiple types of attacks being highlighted. Ranging from the hacking of Norsk Hydro seven weeks ago; to the recent the attack on IoT Devices by the Silex Malware. Norsk Hydro had their full IT network hacked, resulting in 22k PCs being affected. They had the dilemma of choosing between “to pay or not to pay” the hackers. They chose not to pay - going back to working off paper copies of operational instructions. Seven weeks on they are still recovering, at a cost of over $57M, to date.

The recent Silex Malware attack has echoes of the BrickerBot back in 2017 targeting IoT devices that still use their default password setting. Silex targets Linux based OSs, wipes the firmware, drops the firewall rules, removes the network config and turns the device off. Many of these impacted device manufacturers have no method of dynamically updating devices in the field once an attack like this one has happened.

The SAM Seamless Network recently compiled research on which IoT device type is most vulnerable to hacking. The top spot, by a long way, was taken by Internet connected cameras, clocking up nearly 50% of all devices compromised by hackers. Many low-cost camera solutions are based on similar designs - meaning if one brand is compromised by hackers it is easy to replicate the hack across the market place. Next on the list are small hubs(15%) and network attached storage(12%). One of the main challenges for these IoT type devices is once they are installed they are often not updated with security patches, or in many cases they are not set up correctly with suitable passwords in the first place.

So what can be done to address this? Not paying the hackers is one option some companies can take but the best approach is to be able to proactively manage the security of your IoT devices. This may sound like an overly simplified approach - however it is more rarely being applied to IoT devices compared to their enterprise counterparts.

Many IoT devices have not had robust security patching built in from the start. Often security is a feature that is de-emphasised to enable products to get to market quicker. At Foundries.io we feel that it should be core to all products, from the start. The Foundries.io microPlatforms have built-in, as standard, what is needed to deploy and securely support IoT devices once they are in the field.

Foundries.io uses a variety of approaches to help customers, using the microPlatforms, to manage security threats and issues.

  • The microPlatforms have been designed to minimise the attack surface available to hackers
  • Continuously monitors and tests the microPlatforms to identify potential points of vulnerability
  • Offers Over-the-air (OTA) updating functionality enabling device management tools to update the firmware and OS on vulnerable devices.
  • By adopting OTA updates enables our customers to quickly update their deployed devices, protecting their customers from identified hacking attacks.

We can’t remove the threat of hacking but Foundries.io can provide a quick, easy, cost-effective route to protecting your devices from new threats.

comments powered by Disqus