The recent Meltdown and Spectre problems have highlighted the vulnerability of computer chips to hacking that can, at least, be addressed through software patches. However, another area that is increasingly a target for hackers is IoT where each node in an IoT network can provide an entry point to a company's corporate systems, in a similar manner to the way that home security cameras, robot vacuum cleaners, etc. have been hacked. Presto Engineering is offering a comprehensive manufacturing and test service that is tailored to ensure IoT chips are made to high standards of security.
“According to analysts, there are already billions of IoT chips in use,” said Martin Kingdon, Presto's VP of Sales. “This figure is predicted to grow exponentially, driven by the ability of IoT to monitor and provide hard data on which actions can be taken, such as scheduling pre-emptive maintenance before a failure can happen. But the rush to design and make IoT chips has often meant that security has been overlooked, or not included, in the drive to a lower price. This is false economy as these chips can be vulnerable to hacking giving access to confidential data streams.”
IoT devices' connection to the Internet provides a potentially vulnerable route for hackers. The chip should have two levels of security built into the design of the ASIC itself to stop unauthorised access. The first is Cryptography to protect communication and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of data as it moves across the network. The second is Authentication to verify that only authorised computers or people have access.