ESC Boston 2015 Heads Up! Designing IoT security from the ground up! -

ESC Boston 2015 Heads Up! Designing IoT security from the ground up!


One of the topics that is near and dear to my heart at the moment is the concept of security as it pertains to the Internet of Things (IoT) in general, and to the bunches of “things” hanging off the branches of the IoT in particular.

Note: The awesomely cunning technology discussed in this article will be presented at the forthcoming ESC Boston event, which is to be held May 6-7, 2015.

Don't get me wrong — I'm tremendously enthused by the IoT and by technologies like embedded vision and embedded speech, but if my electric toaster and its kitchen appliance chums are going to be able to watch me bounce around the kitchen au naturel in the morning, then I'd rather they didn't share these images with the outside world (see also Human-Like Intelligent Embedded Vision from CEVA).

And thus we come to Hugo Fiennes, CEO and Co-founder of Electric Imp, which is an innovative and powerful IoT-based cloud service and hardware platform that makes it simple to connect devices to the Internet. Hugo will be presenting a session titled Best Practices for Designing IoT Security from the Ground Up at the forthcoming ESC Boston, May 6-7, 2015. As Hugo says:

From hacked routers to refrigerators sending spam email, there have been a lot of scary news stories about Internet of Things (IoT) security, or lack thereof. According to the 2014 Hewlett-Packard Internet of Things Research Study, 70% of Internet connected devices they surveyed didn't even use encrypted network connections. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently weighed in on the issue too, releasing this report that outlines potential IoT security risks, ranging from unauthorized access and misuse of personal information, to facilitation of attacks on other systems and risks to personal safety.

IoT security encompasses requirements that are new for many product designers — such as provisioning, authentication, OTA upgrades, and link encryption — and weaknesses in any of these could potentially be used to compromise the security of the end product. From physical attacks to analysis of communications channels, there are many possible attack vectors that need to be considered.

Though the potential of the IoT is vast, adoption can easily be curtailed by security worries. No company wants their products to be a victim of a hack, yet many do not appear to consider security as a primary driver of design decisions. My presentation at ESC Boston 2015 — Best Practices for Designing IoT Security from the Ground Up — will look at security and describe what product designers, regardless of platform, need to be aware of if they want to build a secure and successful device.

I couldn't agree more. I certainly don't want any nefarious nutcase to be able to take control of the systems in my home, truck, or office. I would be miffed, to say the least, if my washing machine was instructed to launder my prized Hawaiian shirts alongside a bunch of other colored items, and the last thing I need is to be chased around my home by a manic robot hover.

This is one talk I think every embedded systems architect and designer should attend (I'll be the one in the hand-laundered Hawaiian shirt).

Join over 2,000 technical professionals and embedded systems hardware, software, and firmware developers at ESC Boston May 6-7, 2015, and learn about the latest techniques and tips for reducing time, cost, and complexity in the development process.

Passes for the ESC Boston 2015 Technical Conference are available at the conference's official site, with discounted advance pricing until May 1, 2015. Make sure to follow updates about ESC Boston's talks, programs, and announcements via the Destination ESC blog on and social media accounts Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

The Embedded Systems Conference, EE Times, and are owned by UBM Canon.

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