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In the Cybersecurity Battle, the Endpoint is the Frontline | Cypress Semiconductor

In the Cybersecurity Battle, the Endpoint is the Frontline

Guest Blogger: Tanner Johnson, Senior Analyst, Connectivity & IoT, IHS Markit

More than two millennia ago, renowned Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu authored the historic text The Art of War. In this document, Sun Tzu provided both strategic and tactical guidance on how any entity should manage potential adversarial conflicts. In one of his most poignant quotes, Sun Tzu wrote “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. This rings just as true for information security as it does for any military skirmish. For the Internet of Things, denying hackers the ability to compromise devices ends the conflict before it can begin.

When it comes to the development of connected devices, embedded security components are fundamentally essential for effective data protection. By baking data security into the foundational design of IoT devices, information security can be bolstered throughout the entire development process. This proactive measure is far easier to implement, and often less costly, than attempting to bolt security onto a connected IoT product after its launch. Additionally, a security breach stemming from a vulnerable device can result in a loss of customer faith in the manufacturer, making the expense of an insecure device extend well beyond the price of any patch or recall.

IHS Markit projects that the number of connected IoT devices in the market will reach nearly 40 billion by the end of 2020. That is equivalent to roughly five internet accessible devices for every individual walking the earth. Furthermore, this number is projected to surge to nearly 120 billion over the next decade. However, while these devices may introduce added functionality, capabilities, and convenience for their respective users, each one also adds to the size of an exponentially growing threat landscape. 

Every connected device provides a node of communication that data thieves could seek to compromise. These opportunities for hackers to access these devices are increasing substantially throughout the IoT, as there are no real limits to the type of device that can be granted internet connectivity. IoT communication has already been added to everything from appliances like coffee makers and washing machines, vehicles and aircrafts, medical devices, critical infrastructure, and industrial and manufacturing equipment. As cyber criminals become more sophisticated over time, the threats introduced by connectivity may require additional protection of the benefits enjoyed by the respective user.

As the sheer speed and volume with which data is generated continues to grow, ensuring proper protection and handling of that information becomes a proportionally difficult challenge. Demand for comprehensive and secure information management solutions are driving growth in the global IoT cybersecurity market. In accordance with this demand, IHS Markit forecasts that revenue from data security solutions will grow at a CAGR of 30% over the next five years due to increased calls for a worldwide consensus on information management standards.

The first line of defense for any IoT device are those security features that are embedded within, the device itself. One example of such a solution is the Programmable System-on-Chip, PSoC 6, MCU family from Cypress Semiconductor with its built-in security provisions. The foundational value of embedded security is providing a unique device identity by using root of trust for the purpose of device authentication. Furthermore, embedded security is vital to maintain effective information protection throughout the entire information chain of custody. Embedded security also protects the subsequent network and cloud domains used by the secure products connected to them.

For effective data security solutions within IoT devices to become more widely adopted, OEMs must incorporate embedded security and consumer privacy solutions into their products. Moreover, as the market demand for data security increases, IoT device OEMs can distinguish themselves in the market by establishing as secure and privacy conscious brand. The inclusion of front-line, embedded security solutions in end-point products delivers the brand security promise and will provide end users evolving long-term protection.

Tanner Johnson Senior Analyst, Connectivity & IoT, IHS Markit

Tanner Johnson is a cybersecurity analyst focused on IoT and transformative technologies at IHS Markit. His coverage is focused on examining the various threats that occupy the IoT technology domain, as well as opportunities and strategies that are emerging as data connectivity continues to expand.

Prior to focusing on IoT security, Tanner managed and contributed to a wide range of aerospace and defense forecast markets including services, intelligence, and cyber operations for Jane’s by IHS Markit. His passion for the cybersecurity market inspired him to seek out additional academic knowledge in the field, and led him to achieve a Master's Degree in Cybersecurity through Missouri State University.

Tanner has published several cybersecurity focused articles to Jane’s Intelligence Review, on a broad scope of topics ranging from quantum computing to digital forensics. He has extensive knowledge in information security, threat intelligence, malware investigation, as well as hacker techniques and incident response.

Tanner also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse as well as a Master's Degree in Defense & Strategic Studies from Missouri State University.

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