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Why IoT Security Matters, and Who Can Help? | Cypress Semiconductor

Why IoT Security Matters, and Who Can Help?

By Kevin Tran – AWS Sr. Partner Development Manager at Amazon and Gary Sugita, ICW Director of Marketing at Cypress, an Infineon Technologies Company

In this blog series, we’ll explore the hardware and software conditions that make IoT security unique, and what it takes to secure a smart IoT device using our technology.

It wasn’t that long ago when a refrigerator was just a refrigerator, and a car was nothing more than a mode of personal transportation. Just 10 years ago, there weren’t many people who were thinking of a car as a “living rooms on wheels,” or giving thought to the idea that one day a refrigerator might be “smart” enough to order supplies for itself.

Yet that is where technology has taken us. The wonder of reliable and ubiquitous connectivity has given rise to the world of “smart,” where one day we may be celebrating our appliances’ performance milestones with graduation yard signs.

But for all the benefits associated with the IoT that make life easier and more enjoyable comes some greater level of risk to one’s personal safety and security. In 2018, for example, hackers took control of a baby-monitoring camera at a home in Seattle and threatened to kidnap the child. Similar incidents have occurred in South Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, and Arizona, leaving parents and their kids feeling vulnerable. There are many other cases of connected equipment being compromised by bad actors, including portable medical devices, factory robots, and home appliances.

Earlier this year, the California Consumer Privacy Act (SB-237) was launched, requiring manufacturers to provide some level of security in devices they sell. At least nine other states are working on similar legislation. The EU and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) also have active initiatives to address cybersecurity and consumer privacy. In short, data breaches may not only permanently harm a manufacturer’s brand reputation, but also cost millions of dollars in fines.

Security is not a new concept to electronic devices. Most smart phones have processors that provide device security. Most computers have built-in security as well, including a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) on the motherboard that prevents tampering. But many other electronic products in use today were not originally designed to be connected, and therefore don’t have embedded security. The challenge for IoT equipment makers today is to bring these resource-constrained products up to the security standards of their connected counterparts.

Some vendors like Cypress, an Infineon Technologies company, are helping manufacturers build security into their connected products. Working with our cloud partner, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company delivers an out-of-the-box security solution that provides end-to-end protection, from node to cloud and back. Using open-source security firmware along with integrated communication stacks on the PSoC 64 secure MCU, vendors can bring their secure IoT products to market quickly and cost-effectively.

In this blog series, we will explore the hardware and software conditions that make IoT security unique, what it takes to secure a smart IoT device using a secure MCU like PSoC 64, how to securely connect one IoT device to the AWS Cloud, and then how to scale your AWS cloud connections to one million devices or more.


About the Authors:

Gary Sugita is Director of Marketing in the IoT Compute and Wireless business unit at Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, an Infineon Technologies company. Over the last 30 years, Gary has held various marketing and technical roles in embedded systems. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University.

Kevin is a Strategic Partner Development Manager for the AWS Partner Network (APN) team and is responsible for driving the adoption of AWS Edge and IoT Services with hardware Partners. Over the past 20 years, Kevin has developed ecosystems with partners to champion the adoption of leading edge semiconductor technologies for the networking and automotive industries. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the California State University San Jose.

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