Securing the foundation: the importance of embedded software security in the cybersecurity ecosystem

In the dynamic world of cybersecurity, where the buzz often revolves around cloud, network, and data security, there’s a crucial element that is often neglected: embedded software security. In this digital age, where every company’s heartbeat is its technological infrastructure, safeguarding the core – the physical components and software/firmware foundation – is non-negotiable.

Why does embedded software security matter?

At the forefront of any cybersecurity strategy lies the robust defence of the physical device itself. Embedded software security ensures not just the protection of data but the device that contains it. While cloud, network and data security are well-established, it’s crucial to recognise that embedded software security is critical to protect the foundation – the firmware and/or operating system.

Marc Fyrbiak, Chief Product Officer at Emproof says: “Devices are often described as secure by vendors, however, a combination of security that includes software security is essential to provide a holistic solution, without it they could still get attacked. With Emproof Nyx, companies can enhance their software security in embedded devices to prevent reverse engineering attempts and secure valuable intellectual property and protect against exploitation of wider infrastructure.”

The vulnerability conundrum

Organisations generally invest heavily in cutting-edge network and data security measures, yet the very foundation of their systems remains vulnerable. It’s like building a fortress with impenetrable walls but forgetting to lock the gate. If companies neglect to shield the foundational components, they open the floodgates to potential threats, putting everything at risk.

Reverse engineering tools, such as Ghidra (free and open source tool since 2019 developed by the National Security Agency of the United States) or IDAPro, are readily available to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to find exploits to compromise devices or analyse intellectual property for counterfeiting.

A holistic approach to cybersecurity is required

Organisations need to bring security controls closer to the edge of their networks to stay secure:

  • When your software is compromised and causes monetary or life-threatening situations, it’s too late to prevent reputational damage.
  • When a competitor gains access and copies your specialist technology, your whole business model could be threatened.
  • When future legislation from governments makes companies responsible for cyber incidents, your business will be liable.

In the realm of security measures, each one plays a crucial role. Data security focuses on shielding the information that devices generate or process, while embedded software security fortifies the device itself. These are not mutually exclusive; instead, they’re harmonious components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. For embedded systems and IoT devices to stand resilient against the ever-evolving threat landscape, a multi-tiered security approach is required.

Tesla jailbreak unlocks theft of in-car paid features

Last year – it was found that Tesla cars were susceptible to a nearly irreversible jailbreak of their onboard infotainment systems that would allow owners to unlock a bevy of paid in-car features for free. Through reverse engineering software attackers could uncover the underlying technology and circumvent the paid features for their own benefit or distribution to others. This would have not only resulted in financial losses for the manufacturer, but also undermined their competitive advantage. Therefore, it is essential to deploy advanced software security into these systems to ensure overall protection and application reliability.

Source: Dark Reading

Emproof Nyx is the future of embedded software security

Emproof is reshaping the embedded software security landscape. Our mission is to deliver high levels of software security and IP integrity for embedded systems, using unique techniques that protect algorithms and data while securing the entire device. Our solution, Emproof Nyx, prevents reverse engineering, securing your valuable intellectual property and protecting against exploitation attacks.

Find out more about our solution, Emproof Nyx.

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